Sci-Fi With a Sense of Humor

Author Christopher Cobb holds a copy of his first novel, “A Moon Called Sun.” His latest work, “Slant Six” was inspired by the Stephen Spielberg movie “Duel” and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

Florida Author

Sci-Fi With a Sense of Humor

By Jackie Minniti

With three older brothers and a younger sister, Christopher Cobb often felt like the lost child, so he started writing stories.

“My mom said she always heard the tapping of a typewriter coming from my room,” he recalls. While he began writing for himself, he eventually discovered that he had a knack for it and is now the author of two highly entertaining science fiction novels that combine imaginative plots with his unique brand of quirky humor.

Cobb, a native Floridian, earned an associate degree from Florida School of the Arts and went to New York City to pursue an acting career. While he scored some off-Broadway roles, he decided to leave the hustle of the Big Apple for the tranquility of the Appalachian Mountains in northern Georgia. He spent four years decom- pressing before returning to Florida to go back to school. Cobb received a bachelor’s degree in social science from Florida Atlantic University and now works as a producer and marketing specialist with the Palm Beach County Film and TV Commission. His favorite part of the job is working on the Student Showcase of Films, a juried competition for Florida high school and college students pursuing careers in the film industry.

But Cobb never lost his desire to write. “In high school, I had English teachers who encouraged my writing, and this had a profound effect on me,” he says. “Writing was a creative outlet that I wanted to explore.” So Cobb decided to attempt a novel. He chose science fiction because of the influence of authors like Piers Anthony, Kurt Vonnegut, H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. “I always loved the literature, TV shows and movies, so the eventual progression into creating my own sci fi/fantasy universe was natural,” he says.

His first novel, “A Moon Called Sun,” combines history, romance and time travel in a story that shows how something with good intentions can be twisted and perverted for evil. “The collection of characters from different worlds, so diverse and unique, all have something in common – ” he says, “the need to belong, to be loved and most importantly, to be validated.” Piers Anthony, a writer who was a major influence on Cobb, described the book as “…interesting and well told, with a considerable range of imagination.”

For his latest novel, Cobb decided to try something different. “I got the idea from the 1971 Stephen Spielberg movie, ‘Duel,’ the story of a traveling salesman terrorized by an old Peterbilt semi,” he says. “I thought it would be fun to set this story in outer space.” The result was “Slant Six,” a story that merges “Duel” with Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Set in 2252, “Slant Six” is the tale of Loman Phin, a burnt out spaceship racer inspired by Miller’s Willie Loman. When Phin agrees to deliver a mysterious woman to Pluto’s moon, he becomes embroiled in a hazardous series of mis- adventures. “I like to take pop-culture references and twist them into some- thing futuristic,” Cobb explains. “When I got the idea to model all the spaceships after classic cars, it opened the floodgates. I knew I could do a lot of wordplay and have a lot of fun with it. I wanted readers to feel like they’re on the right side of an inside joke.” The book was praised by Sci-Fi and Scary as “…an exercise in naughty, punny action fun…entertaining from start

Cobb has already started on a sequel to “Slant Six.” Titled “The Wicked Split,” the story will center on a vampire and android that team up to look for revenge. “These books were so much fun to write,” he says. “I hope readers will finish them and say, ‘That was a helluva lot of fun, and I want to read more.’”

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