click & return to John T. Cullen Holiday Bookshop


Welcome to my Holiday Bookshop

Streamliners. John Argo's joyful if mysterious and phantasmagoric romp in a parallel universe. Riding across a leafy, autumnal 1930s parkway from the Empire City to Raritania, we reach a city of clocktowers. In it, darkly comic moguls and editors play among Art Deco stained glass and giant clockworks. Speed is the theme of streamliners, those designers of a lost civilization between world wars. Can Dr. Jeff Maxxon save Lexa Whiston from her evil uncle, kill Hitler in a parallel dimension, and return with Lexa to enjoy Aerodynamic Donuts 'Til Dawn? More info soon. Site under development.

Streamliners is atmospheric, intoxicating, jarring...a suspenseful Art Deco love story between young, handsome Professor Jeff Maxxon and lovely, jazzy Lexa Whiston, granddaughter of a ruthless zillionaire who owns half of Raritania and its clocktowers. It is a murder mystery, a time travel story, a plot to kill Hitler, and lots of other things besides. Windy, rainy, foggy Raritania with its neon lights and glowing skyline exists in a world parallel to our own, connected by a 1930s style parkway (an early U.S. highway) without on-ramp or exit signs. Follow the magic, find a hidden tunnel entrance, and take the drive to Raritania. It's a nice ride on a quaint, sunny stretch of unmarked concrete in an open roadster from the Empire City to the Clocktower City--an autumn highway swirling with leaves and dreams.

Welcome to Raritania, an Art Deco city of clocktowers in a world slightly parallel to ours. This novel of mystery, romance, and dark imagination is a DarkSF tour de force by John Argo.

You'll revel in an Art Deco world slightly out of time and out of joint, barely two hours' drive on a 1930s parkway whose entrances and exits lie hidden among the trees and neon signs of another world. Abandoned around 1995, forgotten, and rediscovered in 2015, this is the novel that lent its name to Clocktower Books (motto: "Exciting Reading for Avid Readers, Online Since 1996").

John Argo's Raritania lies in a parallel reality, a trifle askew, where it is usually night time (wreathed in fog, neon, and jazzy music). Raritania is a two-hour drive from the Empire or Gotham City (New York) in your time stream. Just take your open roadster whizzing along a dusky, autumn parkway amid whirling leaves and a faint aura of big band jazz. You'll see our City of Clocktowers on the horizon in no time (literally).

You may notice a few temporal ambiguities, amid considerable whimsy like a 1930ish diner called Aerodynamic Donuts since 1936. There's a horrible murder in which a lady is thrown into the giant, gleaming brown gears inside a clocktower. But there's a romantic love story (with an evil stepfather out to kill the beautiful chick, for a change, and handsome Jeff Maxxon out to rescue her). No such tale would be complete without a mission in parallel time streams to assassinate Adolf Hitler before he can do much harm. However, as we know, that happened in a parallel world, and didn't turn out so well in ours.

Donít be alarmed--all is well that ends well. Jeff and Lexa overcome all obstacles to find true love, and we enjoy (as the neon sign outside a famous Raritania corner diner reads): "Aerodynamic Donuts Since 1936!"

This introduction continues inside the book, along with a special epilog by the author. John Argo explains the evolution of Clocktower Books as an idea that sprang out of the city of clocktowers in this novel.

click to return to bookstore


About reading free, see below (Read-a-Latte, Bookstore Metaphor).
For info about inexpensive purchase see right side, bottom table.

Read-a-Latte: The Bookstore Metaphor

Read Half Free/Try-Buy. At my Galley City website, you can read the first half free, what I call the Bookstore Metaphor. Just like in most bookstores, you can sit and read (free) all day. You do have to buy the book to walk out with it. Same here.

No cost, no obligation, no tracking, no cookies, not even a breath mint. If you love it, you can (easily and safely at Amazon) buy the whole e-book for the painless price of a cup of coffee—what I call Read-a-Latte. Hours of reading enjoyment; the coffee is gone in minutes, but the book stays with you forever). You can also get those many hours of happy reading from the print edition for the price of a sandwich.

To help the author, please recommend this book your friends, and also post a favorable (five star!) review at Amazon, Good Reads, and similar online reader resources. Thank you and visit Galley City often: over a million words of free reading (fiction, nonfiction, poetry by yours truly. [JTC].

Read Half Free at Galley City: Streamliners

Browse or Buy at Amazon

The book linked at left is an e-book edition to browse; or buy & download from Amazon for your Kindle reader.
     The middle link is for the corresponding print edition. Most of these are standard 6x9"; a few have added trim sizes available (5x8"). More info at
     Most print editions are also available at Barnes & Noble online; or call/visit your local bookstore to order.


Luxembourg, European Union, United States

intellectual property warning