John Sloop Biederman


John “Sloop” Biederman

John “Sloop” Biederman's fate as a writer was sealed early, through encouragement from his parents and teachers. In grade school, he wrote old-time “radio” plays and won an Earth Day poetry contest in the late ’70s. (The blue spruce “sapling” prize now towers by his former family home in Ringwood, Ill.) His folks spurred his budding humorist through their favorite classics, from Laurel and Hardy to “Pink Panther” movies. Moved by authors including Poe, Tolkien and Twain, in junior high he crafted Dungeons & Dragons adventures and figured he’d grow up to be a humorous sci-fi/fantasy novelist. In high school, Sloop was an award-winning humor columnist/editor and picked journalism as (ahem) a practical career.

Sloop chased rock star dreams from his teens through three semesters at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in the ’80s. When rampant partying prompted his folks to yank the money, he moved home for a Multi-Year Funk and grunt jobs, pitching sci-fi/fantasy to magazines, earning feedback and a first unpaid “sale” (poetry), though the rag failed before publication. He moved to Chicago in 1991 and founded the first of two writers’ groups. Members loved his Floyd Pinkerton, from a one-off sci-fi story, so much they even wrote their own Floyd tales!

Sloop landed in alcohol rehab and was screwed-up worse by its religiosity. Pitching Gauntlet Magazine on a 12 Steps critique (later published), he snagged his first paid story (1993), analyzing a then media circus involving child’s birthday party stripper. Rehab became his first novel’s theme (‘Hab: The Other Side of Rehab, 1993; reedited and published on Smashwords in 2013). He returned to journalism school (Columbia College Chicago) in 1994, wrote a humor column for the school’s Chronicle, rose to editor-in-chief and interned at MAD Magazine. Dismayed at the Internet’s effects on writing careers, Sloop indulged new creative directions.

Sloop hit poetry readings socially and his humor verse landed paid gigs (Chicago Cultural Center, etc.). On graduating (1997), he founded a poetry scene rag, Tunnel Rat, which buried him in debt but landed him as editor of Chicago Artists’ News. In 1999, for the 10th National Poetry Slam, he hosted the Limerick Slam, founding to plug it. (“News Limericks” and humor.) He met the woman who’d one day become his ex-wife, who moved him to California, where he worked at the L.A. Daily News, freelanced (San Fran Chronicle, MAD, etc.) and plied stand-up and comic verse at the Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, etc.

Sloop hated L.A., so returned home, bolstered clips with theater ( and sports (The Heckler) and scored his sweetest gig, News Limericks for the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye. When RedEye axed freelance, he placed “The News of Our Time--In Rhyme” at Continental Features. As writing income waned, Sloop translated stage experience into emceeing and acting gigs (TV, ads, indie films), even stumbling into directing/producing a theater troupe (Family Shoe Players) and a regular gig playing a tour bus gangster for Untouchable Tours.

The Great Recession/Internet tag team launched Sloop’s second Multi-Year Funk. While pleased he’d reinvented himself creatively, with his lifelong identity as a writer, he was now identity-challenged. After his parents’ deaths (2012 and 2014), he reclaimed his original identity by reworking the original Pinkerton tale into Drunk Space Driving in the Twenty-First Century, prelude to the novel series The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton, Space Crock.

Smashwords Interview

Give readers a hint as to what can be expected in the first "Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton" novel where the free download leaves off.
Firstly, while the free e-sample gives a title, it's only a working one right now. Without giving too much away, I'll say that 1920s-styled gangsters, epic space battles and some downright Lovecraftian stuff is ahead--all still comic and, in fact, often downright silly.
Still completing the first novel, what about the characters, world, etc. makes this "series-worthy"?
I created the Floyd Pinkerton character around 25 years ago, for a short story then intended as a one-off. But the members of a writers' group I founded and ran at the time all LOVED him--so much so, they created their own Floyd "fan fiction"! For various reasons, I gravitated away from novels (don't want to rehash my Author Bio here)... In any event, getting back to the endeavor and seeking a novel topic/theme/etc., Floyd immediately came to mind. Humor's become my Main Thing over time, been diggin' sci-fi a lot lately--and also feel our turn-of-the-century obsessions with wellness, morality, etc. is priming the way for a backlash... Enter cigar smokin', hard drinkin' space putz Floyd Pinkerton!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find John Sloop Biederman online


The Night I Partied with President Trump: An Alt-True Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,250. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
The alt-true story of a chance Chicago encounter with President Trump, soon after his 2017 inauguration. In this tribute to New Journalists of the 1960s and ’70s, especially Hunter S. Thompson, Trump hides out, and parties down, in “fringe famous” author, performer, etc. John “Sloop” Biederman’s home. In Gonzo style, the tale blends fact and fiction not to deceive, but to pursue Higher Truth.
Drunk Space Driving in the 21st Century (or Prelude to the Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton, Space Crock)
Price: Free! Words: 9,120. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(3.00 from 1 review)
In 2091, partying Floyd Pinkerton crashes on an ice planet in a stolen craft. Soon Earth frenemy Bob Tripeman also crashes a stolen ship. They team to fix Bob’s, of Zzurkwin design (insect-like aliens), to face the beings’ reclamation attack, and being located by Earth authorities, on launch! Their escape primes Floyd’s next on-the-lam space misadventure…after witnessing Mother Earth’s dire fate!
'Hab: The Other Side of Rehab
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,460. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
This POV Big Rehab tour tells the Other Side of our Sacred Recovery Cow. Follow 23-year-old free-thinker Boris, and a diverse band of fellow 'Habbers (half on repeat stints), as he's floored to find 12-Step religious indoctrination via a 20th Century hospital. Desperate to quit, fearing for his very life, Boris learns he must recover by rejecting the Program, rather than through cliche acceptance.
The Complete Daily Limerick (1999-2000)
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 33,160. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Essay » Sociology
The first two years of from Sloop Biederman (MAD to Chicago Tribune; Comedy Store LA to Double Door Chicago)! This series watches it grow, from traditional Limerick per day to plug hosting 1999's 10th National Poetry Slam: Limerick Slam, to noted media source (TV, radio, print) with anti-partisan commentary section as Limericks, too, evolved to include news and human experience.

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