Welcome to the Jungle (The 8th Continent)

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9781595147554: Welcome to the Jungle (The 8th Continent)

WHAT IF YOU BUILT A CONTINENT OF YOUR OWN? AND WHAT IF IT WAS ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH AUSTRALIA?

Rick and Evie Lane have finally converted the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an eighth continent. But their dream of a new homeland for their family turns out to be short-lived. Because when robots from the villainous Condo Corp crash into their continent, a fatal oversight in the building process is revealed: the land mass was never anchored to the ocean floor!

Now, the eighth continent is sent barreling toward the coast of Australia, thrusting Rick and Evie’s dreams, 23 million people, and countless plants and animals into jeopardy.  If Rick and Evie are ever to get their family back together and have a continent to run—and not run after—they must find a way to root their beloved paradise to the Earth’s crust. Or else everything that they built will go pow like Pangaea!

BUILD IT - RUN IT - RULE IT
at 8thContinentBooks.com

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About the Author:

Matt London (themattlondon.com) is a writer, video game designer, university instructor, and avid recycler who has published short fiction and articles about movies, TV, video games, and other nerdy stuff. Matt is a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop, and studied computers, cameras, rockets, and robots at New York University. When not investigating lost civilizations, Matt explores the mysterious island where he lives — Manhattan.

Follow Matt on Twitter @theMattLondon and build your own eighth continent at 8thContinentBooks.com!

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

“SOMETHING TELLS ME THEY’RE NOT HERE TO WELCOME US TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD.”

Evie Lane squinted, trying to count the number of robots racing through the ocean toward her family’s new home, the eighth continent. There were hundreds of them, row after row of birds and beasts and sea monsters that stretched back to the horizon. It looked like the whole zoo had attended swimming lessons, then escaped, taken a detour through a pink-paint factory, then another detour through a turn-you-into-a-robot factory, and now were after revenge.

“Something tells me they’re not here to help us build, either.”

That was Rick, Evie’s older brother by one year, who was a total nerd, but a cool nerd. Evie had decided this because when she and Rick were racing all over the world trying to create the eighth continent, they saved each other’s lives five or six times, and now they were a pretty good team. Like when Evie said something like, “Holy smoked salmon! That’s a lot of robots!” Rick would say something like, “According to my calculations they’ll be here in six seconds.” And then at the exact same moment they would realize these hot-pink robots weren’t just something conceptual to discuss and analyze, but were actively trying to mangle, maul, and masticate the duo. And then they’d leap, often literally, into action.

“Something tells me we should run! Quick children, to the Roost!”

That was Dad—more famously known as George Lane, the President of Lane Industries, and the super-genius inventor of the hover engine, the Eden Compound, talking robots, and the turkey caramel sandwich (don’t ask).

Prior to the arrival of the unwanted robot intruders, the Lane family had been sitting around a campfire on the shore of the eighth continent, debating what to name their new home. It was hard to believe that what was now a fertile landmass larger than Madagascar had been a reeking pile of floating garbage in the Pacific Ocean just six weeks earlier. Thanks, however, to Dad’s trash-transformation formula—the Eden Compound—the Lane siblings had successfully converted the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as the pile of floating garbage had been called, into a beautiful paradise, the first new continent in fifty million years.

But now there was no time for toasting marshmallows and reminiscing. Still clutching their barbeque skewers, the Lanes turned and ran, desperate to escape from the oncoming pink army. Following closely behind was Mom Lane, given name Melinda, known at Cleanaspot, the global soap manufacturing company she managed, as “Boss Lady.” And known in the Lane household as “Boss Lady.” (There were few places where she wasn’t known as Boss Lady.) At Mom’s side was the Lanes’ formerly robotic seven-foot-tall crow instructor, 2-Tor—named as such for reasons Evie could never really remember, though she suspected it had something to do with her dad just throwing random words together until he found an acronym that sounded like tutor.

“I say, go away!” 2-Tor flapped his sleek black wings at the approaching robot army, his spindly talons digging into the spongy terrain as he made his way across the continent.

Unfortunately, this did nothing to deter the hundreds of oncoming robots. Mechanical bears surged from the water. Tigers and other sharp-toothed predators flooded the shore. The animals charged onto the beach, red robo-eyes burning furiously. As Evie sprinted, keeping pace with the rest of her family, she noticed each of these vicious machines had a television in its stomach, just like 2-Tor. On each fluorescent screen was the wicked, cackling face of Evie’s schoolmate/personal nightmare, Vesuvia Piffle. Vesuvia was the super-secret CEO of the voracious real-estate development group Condo Corp, a company whose shady business practices made everyone wonder if they were just regular evil, or the kind of evil that only comes from being run by a self-obsessed eleven-year-old.

Or was it former CEO? Evie wasn’t sure. After the Battle of the Garbage Patch, when Evie and Rick had used the Eden Compound to create the eighth continent, Vesuvia had been arrested by Winterpole and sent to the Prison at the Pole. But if Vesuvia was locked up, then who was controlling the robot army?

From the screens, Vesuvia screeched, “I’ve got you now, Lane-sers. That’s like ‘Losers,’ but with your name! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

A flock of robo-birds roared overhead. Their beaks opened and big globs of a chunky white substance shot out. Evie skipped over a glob that splatted at her feet. “Cottage cheese?”

“Who knows?” Rick said, taking her hand. “Run!”

At the base of a nearby hill, they reached the Roost. The hovership was standing upright on its roots, its engines gray and cold. It was the closest the Lanes’ flying machine ever came to looking like the giant sequoia tree it had been before being knocked down by a lightning strike and turning into Rick and Evie’s primary means of transportation.

An entry tube emerged from under the roots of the hovership, and the four Lanes and 2-Tor were slurped inside like action figures into a power-vacuum. They scrambled through the narrow corridors and into their seats on the bridge. Without warning, Dad kicked the throttle up to full and rocketed the ship into the air.

The little pink birds collided with the Roost’s windshield like hailstones as Dad tried to gain height. One broke clean through the glass and embedded itself in the command console, sending up a shower of sparks. Evie recoiled in surprise, stumbling into her mother, who held her tight.

“Oh no!” Rick pointed out the window. “Dad, look out!”

A trio of robo-vultures were clutching an enormous pink giraffe in their talons, and they were getting ready to fling it at the Roost. The vultures let go and Dad yanked the Roost sideways, narrowly missing the long-necked machine flying at them like a tomahawk.

“We can’t keep this up forever!” Dad mourned. The vultures were already hoisting a robo-hippopotamus into the air. It was hard to tell who looked less pleased, the birds or the hippo.

Evie rubbed her temples, trying to think of ideas, but she only came up with one. “Rick!” she shouted across the roaring cockpit. “Got any ideas?”

“Maybe! Dad, where’d you put that old squid-cuff Winterpole used to lock you up?”

“Squid-cuff . . .” Mom repeated, sounding confused. “This is hardly the time!”

“Trust me!” Rick insisted.

Dad barked quick directions to the squid-cuff’s location in the storage hold.

“Got it!” Rick yelled, dashing out the door faster than if he’d heard the electronics store was giving away free video games. Evie followed, cheering, “Plan! Plan! We have a plan!”

As his sister reached the storage hold, Rick dropped to his knees and skidded halfway across the varnished wood floor. He slid to a stop in front of a large plastic bucket surrounded by old rags. Rolling up his sleeves, Rick jammed his hands into the bucket, sloshing neon-blue fluid over the rim. He carefully pulled out a limp cybernetic tentacle. LEDs blinked underneath its translucent skin.

Rick hurried past Evie, squid-cuff in hand. “Quick, we gotta get to the balcony.”

They ran across the catwalk over the engine room, but as they reached the door to the balcony, something vast struck the side of the Roost. The hovership spiraled on its central axis, spinning over and over like a barrel rolling down a hill. Evie and Rick grabbed the catwalk railing, their insides doing somersaults as the ship attempted to regain equilibrium.

At last the hovership righted itself and the kids burst onto the balcony. Wind rushed past Evie’s ears and blew her hair wild. The squid-cuff flapped in Rick’s hands, its tentacles wriggling.

The sky was filled with flying robots. Robo-birds carpet bombed the continent with spoiled foodstuffs until the land’s surface looked like a forgotten casserole in the back of a refrigerator. Some of the more colossal machines took to the air on spinning propellers, slamming into the hull of the Roost in an effort to bring it down.

“Okay, Rick, we’re here,” Evie said. “Now what do we do?”

“Right!” Rick grinned, holding the squid-cuff away from his face. “Remember what happened when 2-Tor got too close to this thing?”

“How could I forget? He set off the EMP inside the squid-cuff. His malfunctioning almost crashed the Roost!”

“Exactly.” Rick nodded. “2-Tor was a robot at the time, and the electromagnetic pulse inside this squid-cuff seriously damaged his vital systems on contact. Soooo . . .”

Evie perked up. “Soooo . . . if we hit a robot with the squid-cuff now, it’ll short it out.”

“Correct! Assuming all these robots are network-linked, this should shut the whole thing down. Now stand back, I’m going to throw it.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Evie held his arm. “You are going to throw it?”

Both kids ducked as a fanged robo-bunny whizzed over their heads. “Of course I’m going to throw it,” Rick said, rising to his feet. “It was my idea.”

“Oh, right.” Evie rolled her eyes. “I forgot you have a gold medal in Olympic squid throwing.”

“You don’t think I can do it?” Rick sounded offended.

“That’s not true!” Evie smirked playfully. “I know you can’t do it.”

While Rick and Evie bickered, an enormous robo-shark rose to eye level. Its metal exoskeleton was hot pink. A wide hover engine had been grafted to the robot’s belly, allowing it to keep pace with the Roost. Its hinged jaw opened wide, revealing several rows of whirring chainsaw teeth.

It was at that moment that Evie noticed the shark. “It’s Chompedo! Look out!” she cried, grabbing the squid-cuff from Rick. She threw it at Vesuvia Piffle’s most beloved robot. The robo-shark swallowed the squid-cuff whole.

Nothing happened. Evie and Rick held their breath.

Suddenly, currents of electricity surged over Chompedo like a tiny dancing lightning storm. His eyes sparked. His teeth stopped whirring. His entire body reeled.

Rick smacked the call button on the comm box next to the door leading back into the Roost. “Dad! Hard right! Now!”

The Roost lurched, pulling away from Chompedo. The lightbulbs behind the shark’s red eyes popped. A tremendous shockwave flew from its body.

Rick and Evie stared in stone silence. Then the shockwave overtook the other robots. The Lanes watched in amazement as members of the Piffle fleet started shaking, their charred pink exoskeletons breaking open.

“It worked! I was right!” Rick pumped his fists and shook his hips. Evie tried not to giggle.

But then the shockwave reversed, and Evie felt the Roost being pulled toward Chompedo.

“What’s going on?” Her voice quaked with fear.

Rick grabbed on to the communicator box to anchor himself. He pushed the talk button to send a message to his parents on the bridge. “Dad! Dad! The interaction between the shark and the squid-cuff must have created a powerful electromagnet. It’s going to pull us in!”

“Roger that!” Dad’s voice chirped over the communicator. The Roost shook as he kicked in the afterburners, moving them away from the shark magnet.

The other robots’ engines weren’t strong enough to fight the draw of the magnet. The robo-vultures, giraffes, and other animals were being yanked toward the shark, forming a huge ball of mangled pink metal around Chompedo. They held there for a second and Evie felt her breath catch in her throat. “Did we do it?” she whispered.

The lump of magnetized robots plummeting to the ground answered her question a moment later.

“Wahoo!” Evie cheered. “We disabled their engines. Smart thinking, Rick. That’ll teach those pink pests.”

Rick leaned over the side of the balcony to keep the robots in sight. “Thanks, but this is nothing to wahoo about. According to my calculations, the robots’ current speed and trajectory will make them crash into—oh no!”

“‘Oh no!?’” Evie wailed. “‘Oh no’ is a terrible place to crash!”

The words were barely out of her mouth before the robots struck the edge of the eighth continent.

The shockwave from the impact was so intense it nearly rattled the Roost apart. Evie gripped the balcony railing to hold it and herself steady. She looked over the edge, prepared for the sight of a big crater in her beloved homeland. What she saw, however, was even worse:

The continent moved.

Evie wiped her eyes, sure that they were deceiving her. But, no, there was the continent, skipping across the ocean like a stone across a pond. Then it started to drift south, caught in a powerful ocean current.

“Uh, did you just see that?” Evie asked, her face ashen.

Rick just stood there speechless. Then finally he said, “So that’s what ‘oh no’ looks like.”

A few minutes later Rick and Evie finished recounting this latest development to their parents up on the bridge. “How could this even happen?” Evie fumed. “It’s a continent! It’s not like Europe goes for a swim every now and then.”

Dad tried to explain. “Honey, the eighth continent isn’t like earth’s other landmasses. It’s made of converted trash, which was floating on the surface of the water.”

“That means that the continent we created also floats on the water, all loosey-goosey,” Rick clarified.

“But a floating continent isn’t our problem,” Dad added. “It’s the fact that since it’s been set adrift, it could hit other landmasses and completely disrupt oceanographic stability.”

“That sounds bad,” Evie said.

“Very bad.” Rick nodded, examining the Roost’s global positioning system. “Based on the eighth continent’s current trajectory, it will collide with Australia in two days.”

Mom turned white. “What kind of mess will that make?”

Rick looked at her, his eyes filled with fear. “I can’t predict the extent of the damage, but ‘catastrophic’ is a word that comes to mind.”

“Will the eighth continent be okay?” Evie asked worriedly.

Rick shook his head. “We wanted there to be eight continents, but if we can’t stop ours from crashing into Australia, there will only be six.”

DIANA MAPLE’S FOOTSTEPS FELL LIKE RAINDROPS AS SHE RACED THROUGH THE FRIGID HALLWAYS of Winterpole Headquarters. She still felt uncomfortable in her new junior-agent uniform. The waist was sewn so tight she could barely breathe, and the black collar constricted her throat. But she would never admit any of this to her mother.

Mrs. Maple walked a few steps ahead of Diana. Her chic black hair remained frozen in a perfect bob despite the speediness of her stride. As usual, Diana found it hard to keep up. It had been her mother’s idea to enroll Diana in Winterpole’s junior-agent program, an internship that let kids prepare for an exciting career in eco-protection enforcement. Except exciting meant mind-numbing, and career meant paperwork.

Despite her misgivings, Diana was not about to refuse an offer of employment at Winterpole. Her former boss and best friend, Vesuvia Piffle, had been locked up by the international rule-makers; and Diana’s mother, a high-ranking Winterpole agent, had barely look...

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Book Description RAZORBILL, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rick and Evie Lane have finally converted the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an eighth continent. But their dream of a new homeland for their family turns out to be short-lived. Because when robots from the villainous Condo Corp crash into their continent, a fatal oversight in the building process is revealed: the land mass was never anchored to the ocean floor! Now, the eighth continent is sent barrelling toward the coast of Australia, thrusting Rick and Evie s dreams, 23 million people, and countless plants and animals into jeopardy. If Rick and Evie are ever to get their family back together and have a continent to run-and not run after-they must find a way to root their beloved paradise to the Earth s crust. Or else everything that they built will go pow like Pangaea!. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781595147554

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Book Description RAZORBILL, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rick and Evie Lane have finally converted the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an eighth continent. But their dream of a new homeland for their family turns out to be short-lived. Because when robots from the villainous Condo Corp crash into their continent, a fatal oversight in the building process is revealed: the land mass was never anchored to the ocean floor! Now, the eighth continent is sent barrelling toward the coast of Australia, thrusting Rick and Evie s dreams, 23 million people, and countless plants and animals into jeopardy. If Rick and Evie are ever to get their family back together and have a continent to run-and not run after-they must find a way to root their beloved paradise to the Earth s crust. Or else everything that they built will go pow like Pangaea!. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781595147554

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Book Description RAZORBILL, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Rick and Evie Lane have finally converted the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an eighth continent. But their dream of a new homeland for their family turns out to be short-lived. Because when robots from the villainous Condo Corp crash into their continent, a fatal oversight in the building process is revealed: the land mass was never anchored to the ocean floor! Now, the eighth continent is sent barrelling toward the coast of Australia, thrusting Rick and Evie s dreams, 23 million people, and countless plants and animals into jeopardy. If Rick and Evie are ever to get their family back together and have a continent to run-and not run after-they must find a way to root their beloved paradise to the Earth s crust. Or else everything that they built will go pow like Pangaea!. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781595147554

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