Press Release for “The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley” Novel, AudioBook, and Sequel


Contact: Scott Stiffler / 917-279-3386 /


Spies. Tech. Travel. Karaoke. Family. Frenemies. Love.

“The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley”

Craig Vachon’s acclaimed 2019 debut novel

A New Galleon release

Visit for author bio, press clippings, reviews, videos, audio clips

Audiobook available via Apple, Audible, and iTunes

Facebook: Clam Pies Venture Capital / Instagram: @clam_pies / Twitter: @clam_pie












The author is available for interview

Novel available upon request, in hard copy or PDF form

The sequel, “Knucklehead in Paris,” to be published in late 2020


About “The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley”

Occasionally goofy, oft-bumbling venture capital investor Ralph Gibsen inadvertently uncovers a plot to use his new brain-computer interface educational tool as a weapon of mass persuasion. Begrudgingly, Ralph determines he, and an equally reticent team of enigmatic frenemies, might be the only ones who can thwart the forces behind this global cabal.

In an ever-fluid, youth-oriented, cutthroat business environment where rule-breaking and spectacular failures are equally celebrated, Ralph is an older, chubby, travel-weary player who lacks the requisite practiced polish and manufactured poise.

But looks are not always what they seem. Ralph is a capable hacker and innovator who can, when the occasion calls for it, improvise a checkmate move—and that’s starting to attract attention of some very powerful people. Is he being targeted for ruin, or groomed for greatness? Probably both. Whether he knows it or not, Ralph just might be a spy… and he’s about to discover somebody very, very close to him most certainly is one.

Rave Reviews for “The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley”

“Gibsen is an oddly compelling protagonist… The author delivers a complex, meandering plot with frequent hops between years and continents and a wryly conspiratorial worldview that feels more akin to Thomas Pynchon than Tom Clancy.”— excerpt

“You promised me a spy thriller, but gave me a great love story instead… Just don’t start it in the evening, unless you don’t value your sleep.”– reader review

“A must-read if you are into spy novels, or just interested in how technology can impact our lives.”—Anthony Gioeli, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of “International Business Expansion”

“Fiction, yes… but could some of Ralph’s story be real? Had me thinking hard, worrying a bit and giggling out loud within each chapter… Looking forward to travelling with Ralph on wherever his next adventure takes us!”—Brenda Rose, review

Get Smart for the Big Tech Era… The shoe phone gets a reboot in the world of big data, big egos, and Silicon Valley jet-setting. A fun, zany romp.” —Nina Simon

About the Author | Craig Vachon is, like his protagonist, an overly lucky Silicon Valley-based venture capital investor living on the beaches near Santa Cruz, CA. Craig grew up in Massachusetts as the eldest son of immigrants. After a less than stellar high school academic record, he enrolled in a community college in Western Colorado, and immediately joined the debate team, thus acquiring the game-changing skills of critical thinking and articulation, which allowed him to transfer to Emerson College, where he earned two degrees in Rhetoric.

After graduation, at the urging of his mother and his mentor, he started his own company. Two years later, he sold the marketing company and moved to Tokyo to work with the acquirer.

Over the next 30 years, Craig lived and worked as an entrepreneur in Japan (twice), China, Taiwan, India, Europe, and Canada. He’s earned >7.3 million airline miles and typically spends >150 nights per year in a foreign hotel room. His small VC firm (Chowdahead—which is almost-nothing like Clam Pies’ VC firm in the “Knucklehead” novel, by the way) invests in great founders of start-up companies who are trying to make the world a slightly better place.

More Rave Reviews for “The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley”

Knucklehead is like being shot out of an Ethernet cable lined with exotic travel and baroque paintings and landing on a sea of electricity.”—Peterson Conway, PayPal Mafia

“… a fun and enthralling read. The book gives readers an eye-opening behind-the-scenes look into the investment world of Silicon Valley. Vachon’s in-depth knowledge of situations and locations almost has me convinced this book is more of a memoir than it is fiction… a fun, fascinating, thought-provoking, and insightful book.”—Adedayo+23,

“A wonderfully exciting and comedic tale of Ralph, a venture capitalist and unlikely spy that leads us through an international tale of intrigue while unlocking the secrets of Silicon Valley. Fascinating and an absolute joy to read!”—Tim Martin, CEO of LifePrint

“If a major amusement park ever wanted to build the ultimate spy-adventure ride with mystery, suspense, white-knuckle twists and turns, comedy, and romance, ‘The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley’ would be the perfect blueprint. I thought I knew what went on in the mythological land of Silicon Valley, but I had no idea how insane it truly is.”—Bill Glasser, Former Supervisor and Producer, Fox Television’s “America’s Most Wanted 

“Ralph is a great character. I have spent 29 years in Silicon Valley and thought the plot was real, captivating and full of surprises. Great read on a plane or at night. Very entertaining.”—Phillipe

“The author’s deep knowledge of places and situations makes you wonder if the book really is fiction as the author claims. ‘Knucklehead’ is a fun, exciting, moving, and thought-provoking ride that literally had me laughing out loud at some points.”—Greg Post, Regional President, Sprint

“Smart and captivating, it follows the protagonist who is at times ham-fisted and dim, other times deft and clever, through a fascinating journey of intrigue along the cutting-edge of tech. Filled with humor, suspense, whimsy… this read is fascinating, educational, and a heck of a lot of fun.”—Jordy Berson, former Head/CEO, BitTorrent

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