Gosa's 'August Ending' an impressive first novel

Albany resident Jon Gosa’s new novel “August Ending” is available as an ebook.

joe.bellacomo@albanyherald.com Albany resident Jon Gosa’s new novel “August Ending” is available as an ebook.

— Most artists reach a point in their lives where they make a decision to focus on one particular art form. Not Jon Gosa.

Already an acclaimed musician whose band was once an integral part of the bustling Athens music scene, Gosa decided recently to focus on his love for the written word and authored his first novel, the Stephen King-like doomsday thriller “August Ending.”

Of course, even while promoting his digital download-only first book, Gosa hasn’t curtailed his musical interests. In fact, he and the members of his band Another Alien Astronaut are five excellent songs deep into their first album’s worth of original material.

“Today’s publishing industry actually mirrors the music industry,” Gosa, who has a day job with a local design firm, said during a conversation at his west Albany home. “There are still people who want to hold a book while they’re reading it, and there are people who listen to music who still want to own an actual CD.

“But more and more people — especially those in the younger generation — like the digital media available to them. It fits more into their lifestyle.”

Gosa self-published “August Ending,” but not in the typical find-one-of-dozens-of-companies-that-will-print-X-number-of-copies-of-your-manuscript way. He and his wife, who helped with the research for the book, founded Zoatrope Universe, a publishing company through which he will release both his musical and written works.

“There are so many things we plan to do, so many things we can do (through Zoatrope),” Gosa said. “Right now our plan is to release (Another Alien Astronaut’s) music and future written works digitally. It’s a sound business model.”

Gosa, who earned an AB in Philosophy at the University of Georgia after graduating Albany’s Westover High School, found himself enmeshed in the idyllic Athens nightlife with his band Three Richards before the trio went their separate ways.

“We played the State Theatre, the 40 Watt Club and the Masquerade in Atlanta,” Gosa said of those early musical forays. Once the band split, Gosa continued to play acoustic solo sets and founded the group Red Eye Johnson. But while he was at UGA, he said he also “learned to write.”

Marriage and the requisite 9-to-5 soon followed, but Gosa surprised his wife Anna one day around 2005 when he walked in and announced, “I’m going to write a book.”

“Hurricane Katrina had recently ravaged the Gulf Coast, George Bush was still Satan, global warming/climate change was in the news almost every day,” Gosa said of his literary epiphany. “It was at (Athens’ Jackson Street Books) that random books caught my eye. One was a nonfiction Physics book exposing a small part of the U.S. ‘Star Wars’ project located in remote Alaska. Some of the patents surrounding the HAARP (High-Frequency Active Auroral Research) project had titles like ‘Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere.’

“The interesting thing is the patents were based on theories of Nikola Tesla. I found as much info on Tesla as I could, and I was hooked.”

Gosa used the elaborate research and his fertile imagination to create a secret U.S.-former Soviet Union arms race scenario that centered on weather control. Read the first couple of chapters of “August Ending,” and you’ll find yourself hooked on the frightening — and very plausible — possibilities.

“The story (of ‘August Ending’), though based on really unknown science, is based on real science,” the author notes. “It is a fictionalized account of this exposed but completely ignored conspiracy.

“This technology, particularly the manipulation of weather patterns, implemented for years now without the knowledge or consent of the world at large, outright banned by the U.N. in 1974 and yet touted cryptically by the U.S. military as the future of American supremacy, is surely not benign by nature or consequence.”

Readers who love a good doomsday tale — and who doesn’t? — can get their copy of “August Ending” at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com for $9.99.

“The price is set by the company, but it’s competitive with the current market,” Gosa said. “The unique thing is that you can download the Kindle software (on Amazon) or the Nook software (Barnes and Noble) free of charge. And you don’t need a Kindle or a Nook to get the book. You can download it in seconds on a computer, a smart phone or an iPad.

“Once you’ve downloaded the book, you can print your own copy or share it. I decided on the digital-only format because of the simplicity, plus I’m drawn to doing what I can to fight environmental degradation.”

Gosa said his mother’s love for books predisposed him to sharing her passion for the written word. Now it’s Gosa’s turn to inspire that passion in others. He does it with “August Ending.” The end of the world as we know it has never been this much fun.