My Debut Novel Published in Paperback!

A legless veteran and his Vietnamese girlfriend embark on a cross-country journey through the dark heart of mid-1980s America to exact revenge on the loathsome Monsanto Corporation, whose Agent Orange decimated both their lives.

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From the illicit pharmaceutical underworld of San Francisco’s Tenderloin to the cocaine-dusted film set of amputee porn in booming Las Vegas; from the urban-industrial hideout of vegan militant black revolutionaries to a botched backyard lynching by Texas frat boys and the liberation of their chained, abused pit bull. . . Orange Rain hurtles from one stunning scene to the next, swaying between the hilarious and the hideous. Its humor is darker than the Marlboro Man’s coffee (and his lung cancer). A wildly twisted novel, but also one with undeniable heart and compassion. It is an ode to humans’ ability to endure in the face of horrific suffering. A celebration of feminine strength and spirit. You’ve likely never read anything quite like it.
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“The eco-warriors next door embark on a lightning round of vigilante justice. Orange Rain is what happens when the Monkey Wrench Gang goes Death Wish and moves from the scrubland to the streets. Literature that incites.” -Peter Young, former ALF prisoner, chief editor at Animal Liberation Frontline

http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Rain-A-Revenge-Novel/dp/0990360717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407356480&sr=8-1&keywords=smitowicz

Thanks to my wonderful, egalitarian, vegan-owned, Eco-conscious publisher Trebol Press for taking this on! www.TrebolPress.com

“Orange Rain is not a politically correct novel—which is why it is so appealing . . . [the main] character has a clear revenge mission he never wavers from. Revenge is exacted on more than one oppressor, including two different rapists . . . [It's] the type of book that could never be published by a mainstream publisher, as they would be too afraid to touch the taboo subjects it contains. Jan Smitowicz’s first novel . . . is fast-moving, fun to read, and isn’t the same old tired thing we see coming from traditional publishers.” -Kimberly Steele, author of Forever Fifteen and other novels

“A compelling, fast-paced adventure through some of society’s most intriguing subcultures . . . filled with incisive political commentary. This timely and important novel is a must read for anyone concerned about the state of the planet, or simply looking for a good read.” -Camille Marino, former political prisoner, founder of Negotiation is Over and Eleventh Hour for Animals

“An exciting new author with a new voice to bring to the world of fiction. The literary world is in desperate need of more writers like him.” Veronica Rosas, playwright

Travel Theme: GLOW

At Children's Pool in San Diego (check out the glow on not just the water, but the rocks, too!)

At Children’s Pool in San Diego (check out the glow on not just the water, but the rocks, too!)

The near-incandescence of a CA poppy.

The near-incandescence of a CA poppy.

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Taken with a terrible camera, but I just love the subject and the GLOW!

Taken with a terrible camera, but I just love the subject and the GLOW! (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA)

Point Reyes, CA

Point Reyes, CA

 

Thanks Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack for another great theme!

Pictorial Highlight: DEATH VALLEY (2/3)

This one features lots of panoramic-type shots :)

Death Valley + Eastern CA 058

Lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level), with my first rattie angel, Ronnie Lee aka Fatty <3

Lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level), with my first rattie angel, Ronnie Lee aka Fatty <3

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Death Valley 12-09 119

 

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Death Valley Sand Dunes!

Death Valley Sand Dunes!

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Amazing sedimentary layers at Aguereberry Point, pushed up on one side so they're tilted at a diagonal by tectonic plates.

Amazing sedimentary layers at Aguereberry Point, pushed up on one side so they’re tilted at a diagonal by tectonic plates.

The salt-encrusted valley floor at Badwater Basin, looking down from Dante's View.

The salt-encrusted valley floor at Badwater Basin, looking down from Dante’s View.

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Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, Northern Death Valley region.

Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, Northern Death Valley region.

 

*FREE PROMO!* My Revenge Novel “Orange Rain”, Now Revised and Including Bonus Materials!

Orange Rain has been revamped: now professionally edited, with a new cover and bonus materials at the end!

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To celebrate this, I’m offering the book for FREE DOWNLOAD starting tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1 and ending Saturday, April 5, 2014!! After that, it will be available for the 50% reduced price of $2.99 for another five days!
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Click here to download ORANGE RAIN from Amazon.

 

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Max Wright is homicidally enraged with people who wrecked his life—people he has never met or even seen. The Vietnam War left him poisoned and cancer-ridden from the spraying of Agent Orange, legless, and addicted to heroin, forced to sell drugs to support his habit and suppress his pain. Now he’s kicked heroin, and burns for revenge on the loathsome corporation that manufactured Agent Orange.

With his Vietnamese ex-prostitute girlfriend Mai Linh, Max hitchhikes across mid-1980s America. Destination: Florida, where a university medical clinic is performing cutting-edge prosthetic leg implants. Only when he is able-bodied, Max reasons, can he attempt an attack on the corporation that ravaged his body, and decimated Mai Linh’s life. Hot on Max and Mai’s trail is Victor Wattana, the “Oriental Massage Parlor” owner whose money they stole and penis they snapped in half following a rape attempt.

From the illicit pharmaceutical underworld of San Francisco’s Tenderloin to the cocaine-dusted film set of amputee porn in booming Las Vegas, from the urban-industrial hideout of militant black revolutionaries to a botched backyard lynching by Texas frat boys, Orange Rain hurtles from one stunning scene to the next. It sways between the hilarious and the hideous, exploring myriad dark places in America where the two intersect. It is an ode to humans’ ability to endure in the face of horrific cruelty and suffering. A celebration of feminine strength and spirit.

 

NOTE: If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the free Kindle app and read it on your phone or computer!

A Huey helicopter unleashing the “orange rain” on Vietnam.

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ORANGE RAIN:

Jan Smitowicz is the Hunter S. Thompson for a new generation, and ‘Orange Rain’ is every inch the mind-bending ride you would expect from such an author. I guarantee you’ve never come across a novel like this before. The pace is fast and the the language is both inventive and obscene . . . If you long for a world where despicable behavior has immediate and devastating consequences, Mr. Smitowicz has your order up.”
-A.F.

“I’m always up for a plot in which the little guy fights back against the big guy. And you can’t get bigger than Monsanto. Go, Max!…Rapists getting beaten. Poisoners getting poisoned. Dogs getting liberated. That kind of justice is always so cathartic. I don’t read enough of it.”  -J.C.

Orange Rain is fast-paced and exciting . . . a tale of pure beauty.”
-M.N.

“You must read this, my peeps. You must relish the dark humor, the excitement, predicaments, the shredding of evil entities, the endings that make the world go ’round. I don’t care how the academics describe this book – I’m doing it my way: you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be singing from rooftops. Oh, yes you will!”
-A.L.

A rollicking adventure in which a search for legs and revenge leads to a cross-country trip jam-packed with thrills, chills, and seat-of-the-pants escapes…Exhilarating, thought-provoking, and relevant, Orange Rain is worth your time!”
-J.

“I loved this book! I literally couldn’t put it down. It explores some really serious topics (veterans and PTSD, chemicals and the environment, fat corporate America) in a fairly dark but wildly funny twisted way that engaged me from the first page.”
-R.S.

Past & Future Potential Efficacy of Targeted Hoaxes

Simul-posted with Negotiation is Over!

Animalrightsmilitia

Imagine, if you will, a woman walks into a library or university computer lab far from her place of residence.[1] She wears loose-fitting clothes of a style she doesn’t normally wear, purchased from a thrift store in a city she doesn’t frequent. Maybe she wears sunglasses, a bandana over her scalp; she’s removed her piercings if she has any—in short, this woman disguises her appearance from security cameras. Ones that are becoming more and more common as this culture moves ever closer to a techno-fascist police state. When she walks into the computer lab, she tilts down her head and uses care to avoid raising suspicion or interest. Her goal, in the end, is to be completely unmemorable in every possible way. She’s also parked her vehicle well away from the computer lab’s location—making sure it’s a place where getting a ticket is NOT a possibility (since any paper trail that ties you to a certain place and time is potentially catastrophic—this goes for buying gas or anything else on her way to this distant-from-home location; cash, cash, everything in cash, always!). Blending in with her surroundings, she sets up a new one-time-only email account with nonsense information and password that has no connection to her life or personality whatsoever.

From there, her possibilities are limitless. Maybe she learned about a timber sale on a piece of beautiful, life-filled forest (one located distant from her area of residence); in an effort to protect that ecosystem and those trees, she sends emails to the Forest Service and logging company, claiming to’ve spiked several dozen trees with metal and non-metal spikes, encouraging them—for the safety of their workers and equipment—to cancel the sale. Or perhaps she sends out a communiqué from the “Animal Rights Militia” or “Justice Department”, saying her group contaminated an entire shipment of meat from a particular slaughterhouse. Something like this could potentially cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage; if the target is chosen strategically, she could theoretically force an entire slaughterhouse out of business with just one email! Or a final example: perhaps this clandestine activist—tired of the woeful snail-pace of progress toward a sane/sustainable/just society, knowing the imminent calamitous threat of climate change—sends emails to an oil refinery, the Department of Transportation, and a specific railroad company (the emails for which she memorized before her little adventure, and never wrote anything down until the moment of action); she claims that her group sabotaged a stretch of railroad tracks leading up to that oil refinery, and that the many hundreds of tankers filled with crude oil that’d normally deliver to that refinery that day could be derailed and cause a catastrophic spill if the shipment is not cancelled or delayed. Keep in mind: a medium-sized refinery processes somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 gallons of crude oil every single day. If production is halted, even for just one day, this would likely cost the refinery hundreds of thousands of dollars. This may seem hyperbolic, but it’s anything but: the group with probably more environmental success than any other group, EVER, is the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). A few years ago, by destroying a single bottlenecked/choke point oil pipeline, they were able to keep approximately 30 PERCENT of the region’s oil in the ground for a week—this one action raised the price of oil globally.

The genius of this young woman’s email actions is that she never has to actually commit any of these actions. She merely has to make her targets believe she has done so. The risk she’s taking is monumentally low, especially when compared with the risk of actually physically committing these acts for real. She knows that hoaxes couldn’t and shouldn’t ever completely replace real-world actions, but a mixture of BOTH could make substantial gains with a startling amount of ease and expediency.

If you’re still skeptical about the potential efficacy of hoax-activism, how about a real-world example—one that helped win a major campaign, one that I was involved in as a grassroots protestor (and ONLY in that capacity)—would that lend credence to this tactical concept?

As it turns out, the campaign on which I cut my activist teeth benefitted immeasurably from a high-profile hoax. In 2006 through early 2007, Southern California activists were struggling hard to get the POM Wonderful juice company to stop funding experiments on mice and rabbits. We did many home demos.[2] The vice-president of the company resigned as a result of our campaign. PETA eventually got its high-profile stature involved. And then it happened: the Animal Rights Militia (ARM) claimed to’ve contaminated nearly 500 bottles of POM Wonderful’s famous pomegranate juice at Whole Foods stores across the eastern seaboard. The supermarket chain pulled all POM products from its shelves, and announced that if POM didn’t cease its animal testing by a certain impending date, they would no longer sell their products. The next day, POM Wonderful announced that they would cease all current and future animal testing.[3] This perfectly displayed how effective a multi-pronged approach could be; It was a triple-threat of local grassroots activism, a monolithic national group, and underground illegal action. Turns out the ARM’s announcement of juice-tampering was a hoax—but it worked. In the words of Denzel Washington from Training Day, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove!” Well, I know the POM campaign proved how effective a hoax could be. Without a doubt, it would’ve taken us a lot longer to win that battle were it not for the Animal Rights Militia’s communiqué. Instead we were able to immediately move on to a new targeted campaign against ever-specious animal testing.

pom

Imagine the possibilities. Just imagine—and then act accordingly!

*Note: as a writer, I offer these suggestions solely for literary purposes. I do not condone or encourage illegal activity, even though our planet and all her inhabitants are direly imperiled, even though industrial civilization is causing a mass extinction of plants and animals, with up to 200 species a day going extinct. Some things—like laws—are just simply more important than life, and its continuance!

 

 

[1] The adage, “Never shit in your own backyard” comes to mind.

[2] The second animal rights demonstration—and third overall demo—I ever went to was a raucous affair at a POM executive’s house, replete w/ a line of cops in riot gear on her front lawn. How’s THAT for a welcome to the world of AR activism?!

[3] In a hilarious bit of irony, this proclamation came just days after POM’s owner told demonstrators at his Beverly Hills home that he wouldn’t cease his company’s vivisection even if we were to “protest him for a thousand years!”