Ash Bishop launches Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc
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Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc by Ash Bishop
Finding work is easy. Staying alive is a little bit harder.
When Russ Wesley finds an unusual artifact in his grandfather’s collection of rare antiquities, the last thing he expects is for it to draw the attention of a ferocious alien from a distant planet. Equally surprising is the adventurous team of intergalactic exterminators dispatched to deal with the alien threat.
They’re a little wild, and a little reckless. Worse yet, they’re so impressed with Russ’s marksmanship that they insist he join their squad . . . whether he wants to or not.
Genre: Science Fiction
Published by: Camcat Books
Publication Date: September 6th 2022
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0744305616 (ISBN13: 9780744305616)
To purchase Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc, click any of the following links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | IndieBound.Org | CamCat Books
I’m a Multi-genre Author. Here’s Why it Doesn’t Matter Very Much . . .
By Ash Bishop
The first book I ever wrote was a doozy. It was about a businessman enjoying all the privileges of wealth and power, until he’s murdered. He “wakes up” in utero, reborn in the womb, but with all of his previous memories intact. He eventually encounters many problems: diapers, mushy food, and numerous other baby-related humiliations … but the biggest problem is trying to solve his own murder. Unsurprisingly, the book never sold. In fact, it never even landed representation. The closest I got was kind-hearted agents who said they really enjoyed reading it but couldn’t figure out how they would market it, and where it would fit on shelves.
The shelf question is a good one. Is it a mystery novel? Religious? Sci-fi/Fantasy?
The first novel I did actually sell to a publisher, Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc, debuts on September 6th and I’m quite excited. It’s squarely in the science fiction genre, about a squad of blue-collar space exterminators. Their job is to hunt creatures that have jumped ecosystems and whose habits are so harmful they’ll destroy the new ecosystem if they’re not relocated or eliminated. Think of it like this; what if your job was to relocate Ridley Scott’s Alien every time it got loose in a heavily populated city?
It’s a fun concept and I think I can run with the “exterminators in space” motif for quite a few novels. Here’s the interesting thing, though. I already sold my second novel, slated for release in Summer 2023, and it’s a straightforward modern-day mystery/thriller. My books are no longer straddling genres, but now I’m doing it.
A colleague of mine, author Johnathan Maberry is in the same club. He writes horror, high fantasy, mystery/thrillers, comic books, television shows, etc. He believes that good writing is good writing and that we shouldn’t limit ourselves. I tend to agree, but I have a second theory about genre that makes the entire conservation a moot point anyway.
First, what exactly is a genre? At its simplest level, it’s how we organize our bookstores. Whenever I go in one, I make a pre-arranged loop: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Manga, Graphic Novel, Literature. Each section seems to have its own conventions, styles, and moods. Scholars who are wiser than me often attempt to trace the origin of these useful categories. Many give Edgar Allen Poe credit for the modern detective structure because of his short story Murder in the Rue Morgue (1841). Tolkien is sometimes identified as the creator of high fantasy with The Hobbit (1937). We science fiction writers wouldn’t have gotten very far without the genre-defining work of HG Wells in The Time Machine (1895) and War of the Worlds (1897), though others would want us to peel back almost a century and give OG science fiction credit to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Trying to pin down a genre’s exact birthday is fun; it’s also a really nice way to get academics to start a fist-fight. There’s another date and title that interests me even more than all those anyway: May 25, 1977—the release date of the original Star Wars.
I would argue that, as the 20th century marched toward Star Wars’ eventual debut, the question of when a genre was born became less and less important. In fact, despite our refusal to abandon genre on bookstore shelves, I think the second half of the 20th century pretty much destroyed the distance between genres altogether. Or, at least, it mushed them up into such a jumbled salad that genre classifications became unnecessarily limiting at best, false advertising at worst.
What genre is Star Wars anyway? Is it science fiction? It sure seems to be since there are robots, blasters, and starships engaging in space combat. When I saw it as a kid, I was sure it was just that, which is why I was so surprised to meet the “Emperor” at the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back. He was clad in a robe and hood, and he shot lightning bolts from his fingers. My young self was confused. Didn’t that make him a wizard? There are no evil wizards in sci-fi! If you had one, you’d need valiant knights to defeat him. Wait…Jedi knights? And weren’t Luke and Darth sword fighting with those cool-looking lightsabers? Is Star Wars actually part of the fantasy genre? It’s a good question.
Let’s make it even more complicated by talking about Han Solo.
Han wears a black leather vest and keeps his gun slung low on his hip. When he runs into a pack of stormtroopers, he quick-draws his blaster and starts a gunfight that would make Doc Holliday proud. Doc Holliday famous for the gunfight at the Ok Corral—a semi-true myth of the western genre. See where I’m going with this? When you consider that Han travels with the savage Chewbacca who can’t speak the common language and fights with a crossbow, you realize that Doc Holliday isn’t quite the correct parallel. Han is the Lone Ranger. And Chewbacca is a taller, slightly less racist, version of Tonto. Is Star Wars a western?!
George Lucas’s love of pulp fiction is well known. What people tend to miss is the way he threw so many pulp genres directly into Star Wars and the way that the modern viewer was more than ready to accept them like that. Genres are comfort food, but by themselves, they can also get stale. A genre salad like Star Wars, or Firefly, or The Princess Bride, can refresh the tropes so effectively the story becomes immediately beloved.
We multi-genre authors are a rare bread, but we’re also a moot point. Who cares what bookshelf your book is on, when the boundaries between stories have been so thoroughly scrambled? The young boy in The Princess Bride loves baseball so he asks if his grandfather’s novel “has any sports in it?” The grandfather’s answer could sum up the modern reader’s tastes perfectly, “Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!”
Sounds like a great addition to the “sports” genre to me.
My debut sci-fi novel Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc is available on September 6, 2022. My follow-up, the mysterious Horoscope Writer will be available in Summer 2023. Find them on bookshelves everywhere
Ash Bishop is a lifetime reader and a lifetime nerd, loving all things science fiction and fantasy. He has been a high school English teacher, and worked in the video game industry, as well as in educational app development.
He even used to fetch coffee for Quentin Tarantino during the production of the film Jackie Brown. Bishop currently produces script coverage for a major Hollywood studio, but he spends his best days at home in Southern California with his wonderful wife and two wonderful children.
He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. This is his debut novel.
To learn more about Ash, click on any of the following links: AshBishop.com, Goodreads, BookBub – @Ashlbishop, Instagram – @ashlbishop, Twitter – @AshLBishop, Facebook & TikTok – @ashlbishop
Visit all the Stops on the Tour for Ash Bishop!
09/02 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
09/05 Interview @ I Read What You Write
09/07 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books
09/08 Review @ Lynchburg Reads
09/11 Guest post @ Novels Alive
09/12 Review @ I Read What You Write
09/13 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
09/15 Showcase @ Nesies Place
09/17 Interview @ The Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn
09/18 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
09/23 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
09/24 Review @ The World As I See It
09/26 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell
All We Buried, available now in print, eBook, and audio.
Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020
The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!)
Available in print (hardback and paperback) and eBook
This Post Has 2 Comments
Great guest post! I never really hold true to reading within a genre. As soon as I say “I don’t really read*** genre” I find a few books I do like. I just read what I read and like what I like.
BTW – In the middle of this one and loving it!!!!! So much fun!
I love to read a wide variety too. This one is on my list!