And now, for something completely different.
My first two books were on cyberwar. Book one was intended to serve as a tech primer of sorts, to explain cybersecurity concepts in a fictional story. Iran was the adversary. Book two, which I’ll publish in the next few weeks, focuses on explaining the concepts of hybrid warfare, with Russians as the bad guys. Book three will pivot toward cyber terrorism, where the motives become murkier.
I won’t be able to reference cyberwar in the title. That’s fine. I already have a working title for my draft manuscript, Cyan, the name of the story’s heroine. This graphic is her. I’ve licensed it and might use it for the book cover.
Shifting the content focus from cyberwar to cyber terrorism isn’t the only turning point in my writing. The genre will evolve from a tech thriller to cyberpunk – a derivative of science fiction. Twenty years into the future, I’ll be able to take more liberties with technology – the focus of which will be on virtual and augmented reality.
I completed the first chapter this weekend. I would tell you that I started the story in January, but really, I’ve been planning before I finished book two, Full Spectrum Cyberwar. I fleshed out a character in that story who wasn’t even born yet by the end. How’s that for foreshadowing? Obviously, Cyan will be twenty years old in this 3rd book.
I expect to have fun working in a new genre. I know that my writing improved dramatically between books one and two, but I’m already somewhat bored with the conventions of a tech thriller. Writing in a new genre should continue my growth on the skills curve while keeping the exercise fun and interesting. Of course, just continuing writing is the most important thing. Repetition is the key to learning. Let me say that again, repetition is the key to learning.
With the inherent ability of cyberpunk to take more liberties with reality, I hope to put more focus on character development. And structurally, I’m improving on my outlining. There are two types of writers, plotters and pantsers. I wrote the first two books more by the seat of my pants than from outline. I started them before I knew how they would end. Although strangely, in Full Spectrum Cyberwar, I wrote the beginning after the end. For Cyan, I have the first half of the book fully outlined. I still don’t know the end, but then neither do you. Stay tuned.
Jed Perkins said:
Have you read “Autonomous”, by Annalee Newitz. It is part of this genre, but set much further in the future. It is an interesting read, partly because it presents a world greatly affect by global warming, and AI is at the core of the story. It is a very cool book, read it if you have not done so already. You need to consider if global warming is going to factor into your new book, set 20 years in the future.
Also, be careful that you don’t make it too much like Snow Crash, the lead in that was a 15 year old cyber punk girl. I think that’s right, I know I read something recently with a 15 year old cyber punk girl as the heroine.
Excited to read this new book
Ed Mahoney said:
Thanks Jed. Haven’t talked in so long, we need to get together.
Snow Crash was really good. This girl will be different, not just because she’s 5 years older, but because she’s well-bred and highly educated, on scholarship at the School of Mines.
I probably will do something on AI but haven’t put thought yet into a dystopian future. It’s part of the convention for cyberpunk. Global warming impact would be good.