Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"A.I. Apocalypse," by William Hertling

High school student Leon Tsarev is coerced by his uncle - a member of the Russian mob - to develop a new computer virus for the mob's botnet - but the virus has the ability to evolve and puts the world's computer infrastructure in jeopardy.

A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity Series), by William Hertling

"Once the titular apocalypse began, I could not put this book down. I was glad to see ELOPe again--the most interesting character in the book is not a human being. The details of how an AI society would be organized are great. Don't skip the first book, Avogadro Corp., which is also a terrific yarn. And now I can hardly wait for the third in the series." -- Amazon reviewer

Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle, a member of the Russian mob, coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the mob's botnet - the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is successful -- too successful. All the world's computers are infected. Everything from cars to payment systems and, of course, computers and smart phones stop functioning, and with them go essential functions including emergency services, transportation, and the food supply. Billions may die.

But evolution never stops. The virus continues to evolve, developing intelligence, communication, and finally an entire civilization.

Some may be friendly to humans, but others are not.

Leon and his companions must race against time and the bungling military to find a way to either befriend or eliminate the virus race and restore the world's computer infrastructure.

Praise for the Singularity Series:

"Highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring. Don't start without the time to finish -- it won't let you go."
--Gifford Pinchot III, founder Bainbridge Graduate Institute, author THE INTELLIGENT ORGANIZATION

"A tremendous book that every single person needs to read. In the vein of Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom(TM), William's book shows that science fiction is becoming science fact. Avogadro Corp describes issues, in solid technical detail, that we are dealing with today that will impact us by 2015, if not sooner. Not enough people have read these books. It's a problem for them, but not for the [emergent] machines."
--Brad Feld, managing director Foundry Group, cofounder TechStars

"A fascinating look at how simple and benign advancements in technology could lead to the surprise arrival of the first AI. And like all good techno-thrillers, the reality of AI is less than ideal."
--Jason Glaspey, SILICON FLORIST

"An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization. I found myself reading with a sense of awe, and read it way too late into the night."
--Gene Kim, author of VISIBLE OPS

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Meet the Author

William Hertling is the author of the award-winning Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears and A.I. Apocalypse, near-term science-fiction novels about realistic ways strong AI might emerge. His books have been called "frighteningly plausible", "tremendous", "must read".

He's been influenced by writers such as William Gibson, Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow, and Walter Jon Williams.

William Hertling was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up a digital native in the early days of bulletin board systems. His first experiences with net culture occurred when he wired seven phone lines into the back of his Apple //e, creating an online chat system.

He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. By day he works on web and social media for HP. Follow him on twitter at @hertling or visit his blog williamhertling.com.

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