John Joyce’s novel about a fictional telepathic experiment aboard a Russian nuclear submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis sparked great interest at the recent ‘Mind, Body and Spirit Festival’ at the Royal Dublin Society over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.During his talk ‘The Military Use of ESP’ John described how the novel had been inspired by a talk given by Dr. Konstantin Korotkov at the Festival in 1998. He also described the long history of ESP as a means of intelligence gathering or as a weapon in its own right – from the early days of Roman soothsayers and native aboriginal shamen, to the programmes run in Soviet Russia and the United States in more recent times.
According to John, Soviet interest in ESP as an aid to military intelligence dates back to the Second World War when the famous Polish psychic Wolf Messing, was pulled off the stage of a theatre in the Belorussian city of Gomel in 1940 in the middle of a sell-out performance, arrested and hustled into a waiting car. He was taken to meet Joseph Stalin and from then on used his unique gifts to advise the Soviet leadership for over twenty years. Messing is known to have told Stalin of his vision of Soviet tanks invading Berlin and to have predicted for Krushchev that the Cuban Missile Crisis – the subject of the novel Fire & Ice – would not end in World War III. This interest was renewed in 1959 when the Russians learned of a story the French magazine Constellation published an article called “Thought Transmission – Weapon of War” (followed by a more in-depth treatment by Gerard Messadié in Science et Vie) the Soviets made the connection – that mental telepathy – or ESP – was being used. The article stated that a rigidly controlled telepathic experiment had been carried out on the US atomic submarine Nautilus on July 25th 1958, and run for a period of 16 days under the Arctic Ice pack. The experiment was “successful”, which meant that telepathy could convey information through ice, sea water and the steel hull of a submarine.
While this may have been a story planted by the CIA to conceal the fact that America had developed extremely long-wave radio communication techniques that allowed them to communicate with submarines underwater, the Russians took this story very seriously and developed a highly-funded and wide ranging psychic programme of their own. This led in turn to the US developing the ‘Stargate’ programme at Stanford Research Institute and at Fort Meade.
The full text of John’s talk is available to read HERE
Spindrift Press will be exhibiting this weekend (16th – 17th March) at the Royal Dublin Society as part of the ‘Mind, Body and Spirit Fair’ at Stand 133 adjacent to the performance area.
Signed copies of John Joyce’s Fire & Ice will be on sale at the special exhibition price of €4.99 and, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the novel A Matter of Time will be FREE on kindle on ‘Paddy’s Day’ – Sunday 17th March – from Amazon HERE.
Also on Sunday 17th March, John will be delivering a free illustrated lecture – ‘Military Applications of ESP’ – in Dodder Room 5 of the Royal Dublin Society, starting at 12.15 pm. This talk will review the research John undertook on ‘psychic spying’ for the novel Fire & Ice, which itself was inspired by a lecture delivered by Russian scientist Konstantin Korotkov at the very same event back in 1998.Read More
Virtually Maria - the first novel in John Joyce’s ‘Virtual Trilogy’ of romantic techno-thrillers scored an incredible 3,330 downloads during its two-day FREE period on Kindle towards the end of last month.
“I’m very impressed with the level of interest in the book,” said John, “and with the power of the Amazon Kindle system to get it out there to readers. Even though I receive no royalty for any of the books downloaded, it was well worth the promotion to simply get the story out there to people who I hope will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.”
As a big ‘thank you’ to those who showed so much interest in the book. John will be putting the second title in the ‘trilogy’ – A Matter of Time – up on Kindle for free next Thursday 14th March and on St. Patrick’s Day – Sunday 17th March.
“That’s a ‘Happy Paddy’s Day’ from myself and everyone at Spindrift Press,” said John.
A Matter of Time can be accessed on the Amazon Kindle store HERE
John Joyce writes about Fire & Ice
Thanks to Madeline Stringer author of the forthcoming novel ‘Despite the Angels’ for recommending me to ‘The Next Big Thing’ writers blog to tell you a bit about my own work and my personal process of writing using the following questions:
What is the working title of your book?
Fire & Ice comes from the title of the poem by Robert Frost dealing with the end of the world. I thought it was very appropriate, since the novel Fire & Ice centres around the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and what might have happened if a Russian nuclear submarine had received what it thought were genuine orders to attack the flagship of the American naval blockade around Cuba with an atomic-tipped torpedo. ‘Fire’ and ‘Ice’ are also the code names of the two young women with telepathic abilities – one a native American Havasu and the other a Russian researcher – who are fighting for control of the submarine – through the mind of the third telepath on board.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea for Fire & Ice came to me out of the blue when I attended a lecture by the Russian psychic researcher Dr. Konstantin Korotkov at the Mind, Body and Spirit Festival in Dublin in 1998. Dr. Korotkov – who is the author of the book Aura and Consciousness suggested that both the Americans and the Soviets had experimented with telepathy as a way of communicating with atomic submarines under the Arctic ice pack – a notion which was actually reported in the French magazine Science et Vie at the time the American atomic submarine the U.S.S. Nautilus reached the Pole in the 1950′s.
From that meeting with Dr. Korotkov, the idea blossomed very quickly, right down to the cover image of the novel. Then all I had to do, of course, was to physically write it!
What genre does the book fall under?
This is difficult to define – simply because Fire & Ice contains elements of the conventional military thriller in the tradition of Tom Clancy, combined with the detailed technological science fiction of Michael Crichton and the historic espionage of John Le Carré. I suppose if I said it’s The Hunt for Red October meets The X-Files I wouldn’t be too far from the mark.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The novel contains a very strong female lead in the character of the alcoholic Native American telepath ‘Little Eagle’ aka Ruth Weylon. Komino Konishi, who featured in the movies Hyde Park on Hudson, Julia and Alien Uprising looks good for this part.
Nicholas Cage always struck me as a good actor for the National Security Agency agent John Carpenter and my favourite actor Sir Anthony Hopkins would be great for the Russian psychic supremo Professor Boris Kharkov. Paul Bethany would make a brilliant villain as the smooth and sadistic KGB Colonel Cherlenko, while Sam Neill (of Jurassic Park fame) would be perfect as the Soviet submarine commander Petrachkov.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis the fate of the world lay not in the hands of Kennedy or Khrushchev but in the minds of two hunted women – Fire & Ice.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Two weeks – FULL ON, FULL TIME! This is thanks to that great national treasure here in Ireland, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, where writers and artists can avail of perfect peace and quiet to work around the clock. I probably could not have survived as a writer without this wonderful resource and all my books to date – from the Captain Cockle children’s books to the three novels of ‘The Virtual Trilogy’ and on to my next novel Masterpiece have been worked on there – in first and final drafts.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Hunt for Red October springs to mind, as does the short story The Stolen Body by H.G. Wells. There are also plenty of non-fiction books about the US and USSR’s psychic spying programme out there including the recent The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson. (An idea hits me – Could I subtitle Fire & Ice as The Women Who Stare at Boats ?)
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It was the meeting with Dr. Korotkov at the Mind Body and Spirit Festival in Dublin (to which I return from the 15th – 17th March this year to talk about ESP and Fire & Ice) that triggered the idea for Fire & Ice. Since then, as always, it was my wife Jane who encouraged me and even accompanied me on the trek down into the Grand Canyon where a major chase takes place, to Las Vegas for the casino scene, and onto a US submarine as part of the research for Fire & Ice. More recently, we visited Paris to see how it might be possible to steal The Mona Lisa from the Louvre – so if it does go missing at some future date you know who to blame!
What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?
Underlying the psychic element of Fire & Ice, the technology of submarine warfare, and the historic background of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this is a story about love and redemption. Each of the main characters sacrifice a great deal – sometimes their lives – for people or causes they love deeply. Ruth’s redemption from helpless drunk to powerful saviour of the world is the most obvious example of this, although there are others throughout the book.
When and how will it be published?
Fire & Ice was published by Spindrift Press in October 2012 with a launch at Hughes and Hughes booksellers in the Dundrum Town Centre. It is also available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions from THIS LINK.
And so I pass the baton…
I have chosen to pass the baton on to an excellent author Olive Mooney whose first two children’s novels in the Chronicles of Cadavar College series will be launched on Thursday 7th March in Coopers Restaurant, Leeson Street, Dublin (see: http://www.chroniclesofcadavercollege.com.)
Due to popular demand – Virtually Maria - the first book in John Joyce’s ‘Virtual Trilogy’ of romantic thrillers will again be available for FREE to download from Kindle for one more day – tomorrow 17th February from 8.00 am UK and Irish time (12.00 am Eastern Pacific Time) via this link:
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers from everyone at Spindrift Press.
To celebrate the day - and as a personal Valentine’s card to all of you – Spindrift Press is offering John Joyce’s romantic thriller ‘Virtually Maria’
from Kindle for the rest of the day.
Have a great Valentine and enjoy the book!Read More
Virtually Maria to be available FREE on Kindle for one day only on Valentine’s Day – Happy Valentine’s Day from Spindrift Press.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all our readers, Spindrift Press will be offering John Joyce’s romantic thriller Virtually Maria FREE on Kindle for one day only this Valentine’s Day 14th February starting at 12.00 am standard Pacific Time.
Part epic love story and part sophisticated techno-thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy, Virtually Maria describes the quest by one man to rescue the love of his life from murder – by travelling back in time.
– the first book in the ‘Virtual Trilogy’ – opens with the violent murder of billionaire computer genius Theo Gilkrensky’s beautiful and rebellious wife Maria. Stricken with grief and guilt, Theo retreats to an island fortress off the south coast of Ireland, to work on Minerva – the world’s first artificially intelligent laptop computer. But an air crash, blamed on Theo’s computerized autopilot system, drags him back from exile to investigate the incident.
Pursued to Cairo by a seductive assassin bent on revenge for the death of her parents Theo stumbles on dark, forgotten forces at the Pyramids of Giza that might be harnessed to warp the fabric of time itself, allowing him to return to the moment before Maria was killed and pluck her from the jaws of death.
Minutely researched and skilfully plotted, the first edition of Virtually Maria sold 10,000 copies in its first printing and was selected as “Book of the Month” by the Easons book chain. It has been translated into Russian, where it is currently in its second edition under the publishing giant ACT, and is now available from Spindrift Press in hard copy and Kindle editions.