Welcome to Astropalooza


There’s a tendency among us humans to exaggerate. Just a wee bit.

Things like … I’ve been doing this half my life!

Yet in my case … in this particular case … it happens to be true.

ASTROPALOOZA is not just my newest novel. It’s also the third and final entry in my SciFi backpacking comedy series, which started with FINDERS KEEPERS, continued with GENIUS DE MILO, and now concludes with ASTROPALOOZA.

I have to say … whew! What a journey it’s been.

For the uninitiated … FINDERS KEEPERS is loosely based on a series of backpacking trips I personally took through Europe and New Zealand, set against a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA.

When we first start our gonzo tale … bumbling backpackers Jason Medley (from New York) and Theo Barnes (from Auckland, New Zealand) meet in Europe and become fast friends. Their biggest worries include … can I get the hot girl? Can I make my train to Amsterdam? I’m hung over … again.

Meanwhile, as they fret over their ability to pay off student loans and eventually become full-fledged adults … the galaxy is about to be wiped out of existence as a motley crew — from Earth and a galactic realm — chase down that missing jar of the Universe’s DNA, because they all think the boys have it.

Our heroes are at the center of the action only … they don’t know it. So as the reader you’re in on the joke … and they’re not.

Throughout FINDERS KEEPERS, GENIUS DE MILO, and now ASTROPALOOZA, the boys somehow stumble their way into saving the Universe, only … every ass backwards solution they come up with sets in motion an even bigger, more complicated problem.

And so it goes, raising the stakes with each new adventure.

In ASTROPALOOZA, there are two massive energy waves barreling towards one another, and if they collide in space before the boys save the day one last time, the waves’ll smash together, initiating the next Big Bang, wiping out Existence as we know it.

Which brings me back to the beginning.

I took my first backpacking trip to Europe back in 1994. This was at a time in the world where, if you were stranded in the middle of Romania in the dead of night with a crazed, drunken madman on the loose with armed soldiers about to knock on the door — which in fact happened to me — you couldn’t Google where to go next because … there was no Google. There was no Internet.

You had to rely on guide books, whatever knowledge you could pick up, people you met along the way … and your ability to adjust on the fly.

Since then I’ve been around the world and back, including New Zealand, which motivated a lot of the action in these three books.

I’m almost 46 now. Yet I’ve been living, thinking, and writing about these guys and their adventures for the past 23 years.

Half my life.

It’s a symphony of emotions to have spent so much time and effort with Jason, Theo, and the gang, to finally see their journey come to an end. Well … this journey, anyway.

ASTROPALOOLZA is the culmination of it all.

And now that I’m here, I can say this: the boys did right by me.

I hope you have just as much fun with them as I did.

Enjoy the ride.

ASTROPALOOLZA is available for sale in paperback and e-book.

For more on ASTROPALOOZA and Russ’s other books, visit www.russcolchamiro.com

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