Happy Sunday evening all!
Time change today and it has me thrown off! Super excited to share with you today this book. It looks like an important read done in a humorous way. And I think the best medicine in life is humor!
Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.
When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.
Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?
XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.
Author Bio –
William Knight is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting, progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in the late nineties.
“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William
The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”
Social Media Links –
Giveaway to Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ (Open INT)
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Is the pen is mightier than the super glue?
I stood in the middle of an Extinction Rebellion protest today as they played dead in the street and caused a mile long tailback of buses, cars and vans. Despite the obvious disruption to everyday life, I marvelled at their dedication, courage and commitment. It got me thinking, if you want to change the world, is there a better way than writing novels?
If you don’t know anything about Extinction Rebellion, first, where have you been, but second, they are an activist group set up about a year ago in the UK to demand science-appropriate actions to the climate emergency. That the world has sat on its hands for thirty years while spewing out as much CO2 again as it had spewed the century before has not gone unnoticed.
But it has, largely, gone without a response from those that matter. Like Nero, leaders of nations have fiddled while Rome has burned, and Extinction Rebellion, or XR as they have become known, think it’s time we the people took matters into our own hands and forced the issue.
Which brings me back to novels. Novels have indeed changed the world. In a very literal sense, the production of novels is an industry ranging from tree felling, to sales and marketing, to retail, digital user experiences and not least, creativity of individuals. The world would be a very different place if the media format of the novel had never come to pass. Millions of people would be doing entirely different things.
But as an influence, novels have changed the world, too, but I think this is harder to quantify. Many credit Uncle Tom’s Cabin as being the beginning of the end of slavery in the States. Others say that 1984 has acted not only as a warning of the evils of surveillance, but as a brake, too.
The horrors of war depicted in books like All Quiet On The Western Front, and Catch 22 have been cited as influential to pacifist and anti-war movements, and Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover was certainly responsible for bringing the censorship of the elite into sharp focus.
Yet maybe you could argue that these novels were merely mirrors to the context at the time. They followed the zeitgeist rather than set the trend. One cannot deny the authors were visionary, but perhaps they saw only what was already there. Novelists are supreme observers.
I hope that my own novels are cautionary tales. XYZ, the latest, is a satirical story about the dominating and subversive effects of digital technology on society, and The Donated takes a strike at the unthinking commercialisation of scientific knowledge. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.
Yet I cannot claim the moral high ground or courage of those risking arrest and public ire today. The bodies in the street and the palms super-glued to windows expressed an urgency that no novel can match, regardless of its pedigree.
But it remains to be seen what historians will make of the current crisis and what movement, novel, political group or individual will be seen as the critical influencer. I only hope it is an influence that does not come too late, and for that, my money is on XR.