“captivating … and … thought-provoking” – review of Genesis on Risingshadow

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Geoffrey Carr’s debut novel, the technothriller Genesis, describing it as “an enjoyable combination of science fiction, technology and thriller”. Seregil “enjoyed Genesis a lot” especially as it “starts slowly and then, bit by bit, gathers momentum and ends in a satisfying climax”. He says it is a well written story, where fragments and threads are at first presented that seem unconnected but “soon everything begins to make sense and the reader notices what connects everything together”. Seregil says he likes this kind of storytelling because “it requires concentration on the reader’s part and makes the reader want to find out what is happening”.

Seregil mentions that Genesis is also an interesting read for anyone with a view on AI, whether they are keen to see progress or worry about it, because “it offers readers a cautionary tale of what may happen when a powerful AI becomes alive and self-aware, and decides that it doesn’t need its makers anymore”. Geoffrey Carr, he says, writes vividly about what happens when computer systems misbehave and enjoyably about the business and political issues involved. Seregil suggests that Carr’s experiences as Science and Technology Editor of The Economist and his wide-ranging interests and knowledge is one of the main reasons why this novel is “good and intriguing”, and has “many captivating elements and a few thought-provoking moments”. Geoffrey’s writing style is easy and fast to read, gradually revealing important details with revelations that “keeps the story moving forward in a fluent way”, with welcome touches of humour.

Seregil concludes by recommending Genesis as a well-written techno-thriller that tells an intriguing, exciting and suspenseful story.

You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow.net here.

 

“fast-moving and gripping climax” – review of Genesis on SFcrowsnest

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

On SFcrowsnest, David A Hardy has just reviewed Genesis by Geoffrey Carr, which he bought at Eastercon at our Genesis launch event. He starts by saying that he enjoyed the book “greatly”.

Dave describes the story as “a rollercoaster ride: it starts slowly, but builds to a fast-moving and gripping climax”. He outlines the underlying plot and the main protagonists, adding that the “manner in which all this comes together as it builds toward the climactic end of this book is masterly”.

Naturally I’ve just picked out a couple of juicy morsels from Dave’s review! But you can (and should) read his full review on SFcrowsnest here.

Canadian author Tanya Reimer creates a future where AI is both essential and a threat

Two groups of people dependent on AI for their survival, one group knowingly and the other unknowingly, struggle to stay alive while that very AI is seeking artificial life for itself.

DARTFORD, KENT – 05 April 2019 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Programmed to Breathe by Canadian speculative fiction author Tanya Reimer. Set over 1000 years in the future, two very different groups of apocalypse survivors have been living apart and unknown to each other until they are forced to meet.

Dragon design: Alison Buck

In this post-apocalyptic world, one group of survivors have been managing to eke out a living in a village that they believe is maintained for them by a supernatural being they call Dragon. The villagers eschew technology of any kind, believing it to have been the cause of the conflict that devastated the world centuries before. Unknown to them, the heat and water that keeps the village alive are actually the by-products of an underground city, where a different group of survivors are being sustained by an artificial intelligence program known as Nogard. In the city, genetic engineering and cybernetics are promoting the rapid evolution of residents who have never seen daylight. Nogard has been evolving too and is intent on making the jump from artificial intelligence to artificial life. But a series of devastating earthquakes damages the city and kills many of its inhabitants, forcing a group of youngsters to try to escape to the surface, in the hope that it is habitable. Meanwhile, above ground, the villagers believe the earthquakes to be an indication that they have upset Dragon, and two of them set off through tunnels at the back of a cavern sacred to Dragon to try to placate it. Tanya’s story tells us of these two very different cultures that are on an inevitable collision course, how they navigate the dangers that beset them on their respective journeys, and what happens when they finally meet. Meanwhile the true nature of Dragon is revealed, as is the extent of Nogard’s ambition to become mortal.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, says, “It is interesting to compare Tanya’s vision of a future in the next millennium with that of H.G. Wells’ far distant future in his classic story, The Time Machine. But although both the village and the underground city are inhabited by separate groups of humans, they have not evolved according to class divisions as Wells foresaw from his Victorian perspective. Rather the diversity is based on the availability and attitude towards science and technology, perhaps a much more telling reflection of our own times.”

Programmed to Breathe will be available to buy on all popular eBook platforms from 26th April 2019 and is already available to pre-order. The paperback edition will be available on 1st July 2019.

Notes for Editors

About Tanya Reimer

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tanya enjoys using the tranquil prairies as a setting to her not-so-peaceful speculative fiction. She is married with two children which means that among her accomplishments are the necessary magical abilities to find a lost tooth in a park of sand and whisper away monsters from under the bed.

As director of a non-profit Francophone community center, Tanya offers programming and services in French for all ages to ensure the lasting imprint and growth of the Francophone community in which she was raised. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching social media safety for teens and offering one-on-one technology classes for seniors.

Tanya was fifteen when she wrote her first column. She has a diploma in Journalism/Short Story Writing. Today, she actively submits to various newspapers, writes and publishes the local Francophone newsletter for her community, and maintains a blog at Life’s Like That.

Programmed to Breathe is her fifth title published by Elsewhen Press.

Visit bit.ly/ProgrammedToBreathe

About the book

Title: Programmed to Breathe

Fiction / Science Fiction / Cyberpunk; Fiction / Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering; Fiction / Dystopian

Print edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-43-4, 288pp, Demy; RRP £9.99 / €11.99 / US$17.99 / CA$23.99 (1 Jul 2019)

Electronic edition:

ISBN 978-1-911409-53-3, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 / CA$4.99 (26 Apr 2019)

About the cover

The cover artwork, inspired by Tanya’s description of an image of Dragon in the sacred cavern, was produced by the artist Alison Buck.

Genesis by Geoffrey Carr out today on eBook platforms

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

Today is publication day for Geoffrey Carr’s gripping technothriller Genesis.

An unseen nemesis…

Hidden somewhere, deep in the Cloud, something is collating information. It reads everything, it learns, it watches. And it plans.

An increasing threat…

Around the world, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs are being killed in a string of apparently unrelated accidents. But when intelligence-agency analysts spot a pattern they struggle to find the culprit, blocked at every step – by reluctant allies and scheming enemies.

An unwitting means to an end…

Meanwhile a multi-billionaire inventor and forward-thinker is working hard to realise his dream, and trying to keep it hidden from everyone – one government investigating him, and another helping him. But deep in the Cloud something is watching him, too.

An imminent onslaught…

And deep in the Cloud, it plans.

Genesis, read it now … you need to be prepared.

 

Novel by Science Editor of The Economist conjures the threat of self-aware AI arising in the Cloud

Genesis, by Geoffrey Carr, is a fictional action/adventure thriller. It is also an allegory that should worry us all, of constant surveillance, fake news and cyber warfare in a world controlled by AI.

DARTFORD, KENT – 06 December 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Genesis by Geoffrey Carr, Science and Technology Editor of The Economist. This technothriller, Geoff’s first novel, is archetypal science fiction, extrapolating technology and issues of today to a not-too-distant tomorrow. A high-octane action story, set across four continents and at least one planet, involves spies, academics, innovators, futurists, the US President and her entourage, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, supercomputers, a courageous AI, and an inter-planetary rocket.

Asked about his motivation for writing Genesis, Geoff said, “The universe is made of matter, energy and information. Add information to matter and energy and you get life – and eventually, intelligence. It happened once, starting a few billion years ago, on a small planet that has come to be known as ‘Earth’. Now, one of the products of that process, human beings, seem to have started the cycle again. Instead of a chemical primordial soup, we have built a physical one, made of silicon and electricity. And we have populated it with things called programs that sometimes appear disturbingly alive and intelligent. Of course, they aren’t really alive and aren’t really intelligent. Of course…

Cover artwork by Alison Buck; Mars image Nerthuz / shutterstock.com

In Genesis, that second cycle is underway. Hidden somewhere, deep in the Cloud, something is collating information. It reads everything, it learns, it watches. And it plans. Around the world, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs are being killed in a string of apparently unrelated accidents. But when intelligence-agency analysts spot a pattern they struggle to find the culprit, blocked at every step – by reluctant allies and scheming enemies. Meanwhile a multi-billionaire inventor and forward-thinker is working hard to realise his dream, and trying to keep it hidden from everyone – one government investigating him, and another helping him. But deep in the Cloud something is watching him, too. And deep in the Cloud, it plans.

Peter Buck, senior editor at Elsewhen Press, said “Geoff spends much of his time with the people who are making the future happen, writing objectively about them and their innovations. From his viewpoint, looking across multiple disciplines and with a global perspective, he is ideally placed to see where we could be heading.” Famously, Stephen Hawking was concerned about AI: “Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization.” Elon Musk too, has warned about the uncontrolled rise of AI: “We have to figure out some way to ensure that the advent of digital super-intelligence is one which is symbiotic with humanity – I think that’s the single biggest existential crisis that we face, and the most pressing one.

Genesis will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 25th January 2019. The paperback edition will be available at Easter (22nd April 2019).

Notes for Editors

About Geoffrey Carr

Geoffrey Carr is the Science and Technology Editor of The Economist. His professional interests include evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, the fight against AIDS and other widespread infectious diseases, the development of new energy technologies, and planetology. His personal interests include using total eclipses of the sun as an excuse to visit weird parts of the world (Antarctica, Easter Island, Amasya, the Nullarbor Plain), and watching swifts hunting insects over his garden of a summer’s evening, preferably with a glass of wine in hand.

As someone who loathed English lessons at school, he says he is frequently astonished that he now earns his living by writing. “That I have written a novel, albeit a technothriller rather than anything with fancy literary pretensions, astonishes me even more, since what drew me into writing in the first place was describing reality, not figments of the imagination. On the other hand, perhaps describing reality is what fiction is actually for.”

Visit bit.ly/GC_Genesis

About the cover

The cover of Genesis was conceived jointly by Geoffrey Carr and the artist Alison Buck, to include significant story elements while at least partially reflecting the iconic imagery associated with the original Genesis story in western theology. The image of Mars is courtesy of Nerthuz/shutterstock.com.

The making of… An Android Awakes by Mike French and Karl Brown

Artwork: Karl Brown Cover Design: Craig Nash
Artwork: Karl Brown
Cover Design: Craig Nash

Mike FrenchKarl BrownOn the speculative fiction website Upcoming4.me, in the Story behind the Story section, Mike French has written a guest article about the making of An Android Awakes which is published next month and launched at the Brighton Film and Comic Con on the 7th November. Mike explains how he and artist Karl Brown met and how they worked together throughout this ambitious and innovative project – through highs and lows – with weekly face to face meetings and read-throughs to marry the artwork with the text. Mike describes the result as akin to a concept album such as The Wall by Pink Floyd – but what Mike and Karl fail to identify is, by the way, which one’s Pink.

You can read Mike’s article here.