As some of you may be aware, for a few years now I’ve been working on a sci-fi novel. At the moment, while there is still a slim possibility that it may be traditionally published, it’s more likely that I’ll be exploring self-publishing. If so, it will be available as an ebook to begin with sometime in the new year, and depending on how that goes, as physical copies later on.
As a step towards this, I’ve been working on a cover design. My style isn’t particularly suited to sci-fi – the design and illustration I do through Reedsy is mostly pitched at quirky or humorous stuff. However, I did hit upon something that draws out an important element of the story, and also I think makes for quite a striking and intriguing image (which is, after all, the purpose of a book cover, I’m told…).
Regarding the book itself, it’s a near future sci-fi novel set in parts of Port Talbot (my hometown), London, Venice and Rome. Given my philosophical background and interests, you won’t be surprised to hear that it deals with issues of death, personal identity and consciousness (the subject of my PhD), especially in relation to AI and transhumanism. There’s also hacking, virtual reality, news and social media, online gaming, memory siphoning, mind uploading, robots, and other things I’ve probably forgotten. However, it’s also a character-driven thing, and so don’t go expecting too much whizz-bang-pow (as I believe the technical phrase is).
Anyway, for those who are interested, here’s my current blurb-in-progress:
The year her grandfather died, Cari Edwards swapped her hometown for a new life in London. But the past isn’t so easily outrun. Ten years on, Grandfather returns, his stolen memories repackaged by technology giant Merrywhile Industries as slick marketing for their latest project: digital immortality.
Mel Faith is also haunted by the past. Her journalistic career circling the drain, she finds herself still obsessed with the piece she never finished: the tragic history of Michael Sommeil, grandson of Merrywhile’s founder. It’s a story with no leads and fewer prospects, but she just can’t seem to let it go.
As Cari seeks justice for her grandfather and Mel attempts to resurrect her career, both paths lead to MUNKi, a Merrywhile project to create a children’s toy robot. Here Cari discovers unexpected truths about her grandfather, while Mel uncovers mysteries only her gut knew existed, and both are drawn into a game with stakes much higher than they’d dreamed. They enter a world of masks and aliases, of mercenary hackers and unscrupulous executives, sinister technology cults and eccentric billionaires who want to live forever. At its heart lies the search for the Singularity — the point, both feared and hoped for, where artificial intelligence will surpass human understanding – and a little toy robot, that may be more than it seems.
For those who want to follow updates and news of when this will be available, please sign up to my philosophy and writing newsletter. I also occasionally ask for beta readers to provide feedback on ongoing drafts of work, which I do through the newsletter.
Anyway, watch this space. More soon.