It’s a thought-provoking look at the best and worst of 21st century cyber society.
That’s interesting. What’s the story?
Alex Wilde, recently promoted head of the government’s Digital Future project, finds his life plunged into chaos when it appears he may be responsible for the collapse of London’s entire television network.
Along with new friends, the charismatic but unpredictable drifter Szandor and PhD student Minal, Alex finds himself facing a drunken raid on Highgate Cemetery, an LSD-laced chocolate fountain and a tiger fight, as he gets caught up with a shadowy group of idealistic hackers in a battle for control of the nation’s media.
Which of the trio did you most enjoy writing?
It would have to be the American drifter, Szandor. He’s a hugely charismatic, wild, unstoppable force and finds ways of releasing the best and most intriguing parts of all the other characters’ true natures. And he has beer on his Rice Crispies.
Sounds disgusting, but that’s not what you meant when you said it looks at the best and worst of the century.
I think it raises fundamental questions about the changing nature of identity, about who we are and who we can become, urging us to consider important questions about how to survive in the midst of lightning-paced technological change.
But underneath the algorithmic searches, DDoS attacks and cyber battles it’s also a story about friendship and love, and about coming to terms with loss and finding new dreams in a new world.
What genre is it?
Hacker fiction. If that even is a genre. Otherwise I think you could call it an urban contemporary techno-thriller.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
People interested in the extraordinary pace of technological change that we’re living through, computer hackers and anyone with a heart.
Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love The Geek Manifesto.
Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Have you written any other books that we should read next?
My first novel is called House of Dreams and is about some of the more troubling aspects of reality TV.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a psychology teacher and I live in north London. As well as writing I run long distances (ultra marathons and the like) and I write a blog, www.allthemacchs.wordpress.com, about the coffee bars in and around where I live and where I do a lot of my writing.
Where else can we find you on the Internet?
I use Twitter as a way of helping me develop my characters, so you can find me @szandorleroux at the moment. But watch out for @thomsonganzer, who’ll be appearing in my next novel.
What kind of book will that be?
A book about the murky world of hedge funds, insomnia and ghost chillies.