Barnes & Noble will be printing an exclusive edition of Spy School Secret Service

Did you enjoy the B&N special edition of Evil Spy School? Or Big Game? Or Spy Ski School? Or Panda-Monium? If you did (or heck, even if you didn’t) here’s some good news:

There is going to be a special edition of Spy School Secret Service too.

I have just wrapped up work on some fun bonus features, and the fabulous Lucy Cummins is designing some great stuff for it as well. Like the others, there will be a special, extra-shiny book jacket with a secret surprise poster on the inside, along with lots of pages of bonus material.

And right now (July 24), the book is only $10.95 if you pre-order it on B&N. I have no idea where they came up with the price of $10.95, but if I were you, I wouldn’t question it.

All you have to do is click right here to pre-order it!

(In the past, some special editions have shipped up to a week early.  I can’t promise this will happen again, but it’s yet another bonus for pre-ordering it.)

 

Cover and plot reveal for Moon Base Alpha #3: Waste Of Space!

A lot of you have been writing to me, asking for details about MBA #3, so you’ll be pleased to know the time has come to reveal them.

First of all, here’s the cover, another amazing job by Lucy Cummins:

The tentative release date is April 24, 2018.

Now, the plot:

Someone at Moon Base Alpha has poisoned Lars Sjoberg. Lars Survives the attempt, and Dash is forced, against his will, to help investigate.  Unfortunately, the killer will do anything to protect their identity, which means Dash may find himself in serious danger once again.

What really intrigued me about doing this idea was that I thought it’d be fun to write a mystery where every single person at MBA had a motive for wanting the victim dead.  The more suspects, the more fun the mystery is.  And in this mystery I have more suspects than ever before.

Plus, there’s another element of danger at work.  But I’m not going to tell you what it is.  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

And, for those of you who have asked for more info about Zan Perfonic, you’ll get it in this book.  I promise.

But I’m not going to share any more about Zan.  Or anything else about the book.

Why?  Because the less you know about the plot, the more fun the book is to read.  I know it’s a long time until the book comes out, but it ought to be worth the wait.

(If you’re dying to pre-order it, you can do that now by clicking here.)

The plot of Big Game comes true: Some awful person just really killed a rhino in a French zoo

For those of you who don’t know, the plot of my book Big Game is about someone trying to poach an endangered rhino from a zoo, possibly to steal its horn.

Well, that has now happened in real life.  Yesterday, in a French Zoo near Paris, poachers broke in, killed a four year old rhino and stole its horn.  You can read the story by clicking here.  This is the victim:

I am devastated by this news.  When I came up with the idea for Big Game, it was because I actually had a fear that something like this might happen some day.  But I really hoped it wouldn’t.

The reason this happened is because the price of rhino horn is ridiculously high.  There are still horribly misinformed people out there who believe that rhino horn has the power to cure diseases such of cancer, even though that has never been proven.  (Rhino horn is made of keratin, which is the same stuff that your fingernails are made of.)  As long as there is demand for rhino horn, no matter how dumb the reasons, people will be killing rhinos.

One species of rhino, the African northern white rhino, will go extinct in the next few years.  There only three of them left in the world.

But there is also a decent chance that all species will be extinct in the wild soon, unless extreme action is taken.

If you want to help, I suggest you visit these sites and learn what you can do:

rhinos.org

World Wildlife Fund

Save the Rhino

Thanks,

Stuart

Barnes & Noble is printing an exclusive edition of Panda-monium!

Hey everyone!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you have probably seen a post like this before.  Barnes & Noble has printed really amazing exclusive editions of my last four books…

And now, they are making one for Panda-Monium as well.

What do you get with your exclusive edition?  SIXTEEN PAGES OF BONUS MATERIAL, for starters.  There’s some bonus fun stuff I wrote for this edition, along with an interview I did with WWF panda expert Colby Loucks.  And, if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a special-edition books jacket with a poster on the inside.

Now, I bet you’re thinking, “Boy, that sounds amazing, but I’m sure it must be an extra fifty dollars for all that great stuff.”

WRONG!  Believe it or not, the exclusive edition is actually CHEAPER than the regular edition — only $10.42! — but only if you act soon and pre-order it.

That’s right.  $10.42!  That’s ridiculously cheap.  B&N could have gone crazy and charged $10.43 for it, but they shaved that extra penny off because they care.

So how do you get it?  Easy.  Just click here.

You know you want it.  Look at this cover.  This cover alone is worth $10.42.  How can you resist it?

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: The title — and cover — of Spy School #5!

Hey readers!

I have been getting a lot of questions about Spy School #5.  In particular: ‘Does it have a title besides Spy School #5?’

It does!  And while I could just type it here, it’s more fun to reveal it this way, with the incredible cover designed, as usual, by my incredible designer, Lucy Cummins:

Amazing, right?  And, as usual, what you’re seeing here doesn’t even do it justice.  The actual cover has this cool, shimmery effect for the sunglasses.  It’s fantastic!

Now, I know what your next question is going to be: ‘When does it come out?’

The answer to that is… October 10, 2017.

And now, I know what your third question is going to be: ‘What happens in this book?’

All right, I will tell you.  But with a caveat:

This is all I am going to tell you about the book.  I know this will be frustrating to you, and that you will have more questions.  But I am not going to answer those questions, no matter how nicely you ask.  Because the more you know, the less fun it is for you to read the book.

So here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Ben is sent undercover into the White House to investigate a plot against the president.  As usual, things don’t quite work out the way anyone expects, and chaos and mayhem ensue.

Everything else is classified.  For now.

The boxed set of Spy School books is now in stores!

Have you ever said to yourself, “Man, I’d really love to buy the first three books of the Spy School series, but there’s no cool box to hold them all?”

Well, your prayers have been answered!  As of today, you can get beautiful brand-new copies of Spy School, Spy Camp and Evil Spy School in an equally-beautiful box!

Check it out:

SPY SCHOOL COLLECTION

It’s the perfect gift for any young reader — or any wanna-be spy — or anyone who simply admires a well-designed set of boxed books.

Available in stores and on-line as of today!

Barnes & Noble is releasing an exclusive edition of Spy Ski School

So far, Barnes & Noble has done exclusive editions of three of my books: Evil Spy School, Spaced Out and Big Game.  If you’ve been lucky enough to get one of these, you’ve seen that they have lots of great stuff, like secret artwork on the inside of the cover, extra maps and lots of pages of bonus material, all for only a few cents more than the regular edition.

Well, now B&N is releasing an exclusive edition of Spy Ski School as well — and it has plenty of great stuff in it as well.  But here’s the best part:

Right now, it’s the exact same price as the regular hardcover!

SpySkiSchool

That’s right: You get all the cool extra artwork and all the great bonus material for the exact same price.  So why not pre-order your exclusive copy today?

All you have to do is click right here.

Oh, and here’s one other potential bonus:  In the past, the exclusive editions have shipped early.  In fact, some readers got their exclusive edition up to two weeks before the regular editions were in stores.  Now, I can’t promise that will happen again, but if it did… Well, that’d be pretty cool, wouldn’t it?

New shirts available!

Hey folks –

A lot of you may have noticed that there haven’t been any new t-shirts available on this site for, oh… five years or so.  That’s because I never had the time to design any more.

(I suppose it’s possible that you never realized that there were t-shirts available on this site at all.  Well, now you know.  Just go to the ‘Get Stuff!’ page on this site and you’ll see.)

Anyhow, since I didn’t have the time to design t-shirts, I finally just coerced someone else into doing it.  Now, there’s some really cool new ones on the site, featuring all sorts of cover art by the immensely-talented Lucy Cummins.

So, if you’ve ever looked at one of my books and thought, “Man, that cover would look amazing on a t-shirt,” click here to check the new stuff out.  (Or you can go to that ‘Get Stuff!’ page whenever you want.)

Just so you know, I don’t make any money from this.  These shirts are all available at cost.

Hope you like them!

My visit with the WWF wildlife crimes division (and some new info about FunJungle 4)

HEADS UP: There is some cool new info about FunJungle 4 — including the name of the book — in the blog post below.

A few weeks ago, I got to meet some of the great unsung heroes on earth: the people who deal with wildlife crimes for the World Wildlife Fund.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking: “Hold on.  The World Wildlife Fund has an animal crimes division?”

And to be honest, I don’t blame you.  I have donated plenty to the WWF over the years and paid a lot of attention to the work they do and yet, I was never aware they had a wildlife crimes division myself until an amazing woman named Giavanna Grein who works there reached out to me.  Giavanna had read Big Game and liked how I dealt with the issue of poaching.  Once I found out what she did, I immediately asked if I could talk to her.  It turned out I was going to be in Washington DC where the WWF was headquartered, so she invited me to drop by and meet some of the team.

Giavanna specializes in fighting animal trafficking, which is the illegal movement of live animals (which are usually being smuggled into the country to be sold as pets) or animals parts (like elephant tusks or rhino horns).  I would have been happy to simply meet with her, but to my surprise, she lined up an all-star crew of people for me to meet.

People like Nilanga Jayasinghe, who oversees all animal protection projects in Asia; Bas Huijbrets, who oversees animal protection projects in Africa — and Ben Freitas, who oversees all marine animal protection projects.  Rachel Kramer and Robin Sawyer also worked to fight trafficking, while also specializing in wlidlife tech (Rachel) and reptiles (Robin).  John Probert was working on wildlife protection technology while also specializing in giraffe protection.  Karen Baragona is a panda protection specialist who also works to reduce demand for animal parts.  And Crawford Allan has been fighting for animal protection for 25 years.

It was very exciting for me to meet all these incredibly impressive people.  As those of you who read my blog know, the next book in the FunJungle series concerns giant pandas.  But here are some things I haven’t revealed before:  First of all, the book is going to be called Panda-Monium.  Second, the crime at the center of the story is that a giant panda disappears en route from the San Diego Zoo to FunJungle.  As I was playing around with this idea, it occurred to me that some potential culprits might be animal traffickers — and now, I have been able to meet with some of the biggest experts on animal trafficking on earth.

Also, I got to meet Karen, the panda protection specialist.  Which was very exciting for both of us.  She has a ten-year-old who likes my books.  And I had been following the WWF’s work on panda conservation.  In fact, I had already quoted a lot of facts from the WWF before I even knew I was going to meet Karen.  So here we are, being all excited to meet each other:

stuart gibbs-2

So… what did I learn?  Well, I learned some disturbing things about the state of animal conservation — and some good things too.

Here’s something disturbing: The USA might be the biggest culprit in animal trafficking in the world.  I know a lot of time we like to point the finger at China, but our country might be just as bad when it comes to importing live animals and animal parts as China is.  (Turns out, it is very hard to track this.)  I even got to see some of the horrible things made from endangered animals that people have tried to smuggle into this country.  Here some are:

First of all, here I am holding the skin of an entire tiger that was being smuggled into the country:

IMG_5464

This is an ice bucket made of the foot of an elephant.  Because, obviously, nothing is as cool as getting ice from the foot of a dead animal.  (That’s sarcasm.)

IMG_5465

Here’s a briefcase made of rhino skin:

IMG_5466

Here are cowboy boots made from Pangolin scales.  Pangolins, which are scaly anteaters from southeastern Asia, may be the most-trafficked animals on the planet:

IMG_5467

And here is a belt made by Versace.  Yes, Versace, the big, fancy French designer, is making belts with illegal animal parts.

IMG_5468

Why anyone would want any of these items in their home (or on their bodies) is beyond me.  And yet, there are people out there who don’t merely want to pay money for these things: They want them so badly, they are willing to break the law to get them.

 

Another disturbing thing: Giraffe poaching has gone up far more than I realized.  I was well-aware that elephant and rhino poaching was on the rise, but I had never heard of anyone poaching a giraffe.  Apparently, it’s happening, though.

But, there is good news too.  The fine folks at the WWF are making progress in the fight to protect wildlife.  Nilanga informed me that Nepal has now gone four years without a single rhino poaching incident.  Four years!  The things that have worked there — like making communities more invested in the fate of the animals — are now being tested in other countries as well.  And John talked about how new technology, like drones, may make it easier for us to track wildlife — and find poachers.

Meanwhile, on the panda front, thanks in part to the work of people like Karen, the Chinese panda population is climbing — and several new panda reserves have been established, which don’t only protect pandas, but also other wildlife such as takins and snub-nosed monkeys.

If you want to help the WWF in their fight against animal crimes, there are things you can do.

First of all, don’t buy any illegal animal products — and help spread the word.

Second, be very careful about buying an exotic pet.

It turns out, a great number of the live animals being trafficked illegally aren’t big things like pandas, but smaller animals like reptiles, birds and fish, which are usually sold to everyday families as pets.  If you are looking to buy an animal like this, ask the dealer lots of questions about where the animal came from.  See if they can provide documentation that proves the animal was bred in captivity (which is legal) and not taken from the wild (which is probably illegal).  Ask if they have a sustainability plan.  And double-check their answers on Google.  (For example, if they claim their rhino viper is from Asia, they’re lying.  And also, don’t buy a rhino viper.  It will kill you.)

If a dealer can’t answer your questions truthfully or provide the documentation you want, then maybe you shouldn’t be buying from them.

Finally, support the World Wildlife Fund.  Every little bit helps.  Click here to visit their website.

Thanks to Giavanna and everyone at the WWF for taking the time to meet with me — and for doing such important work around the world every day.  We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude!

 

Exclusive Collector’s Edition of Spaced Out available at Barnes & Noble

Remember how, last year, Barnes & Noble printed exclusive editions of Evil Spy School and Big Game, with lots of great extra bonus material, and they were really awesome?

Well, there’s now an equally-awesome exclusive edition of Spaced Out!

First of all, check out the special cover.  Oooh!  Shiny!

IMG_5054

Even better, if you take the cover off, there’s a bonus promotional poster for Moon Base Alpha inside.

And there’s other great bonus material too, like more promotional materials from Moon Base Alpha, and an interview with Garrett Reisman, former astronaut and current director of crew operations at SpaceX.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow.  That special edition probably costs a million dollars.”

Well, you’re wrong.  In fact, right now, if you pre-order a copy, it’s only $9.65.  Don’t believe me?  Click here for proof.

Supplies are limited.  And this deal won’t last forever.

Also, even though the book isn’t officially out until April 5, I have received reports from avid readers claiming that they have already received their copies.  So maybe you’ll get your copy early too.