Award-winning author examines complex relationship between humans and technology
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 17, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — As The Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Las Vegas one thing was clear: Artificial Intelligence is here, and it will influence every aspect of our lives. The takeaway: Our world is about to change in dramatic ways.
San Francisco writer John Bowie’s debut novel THE HOUSES OF THE CURIOUS examines what it’s like to be human in such a world. The novel strikes on timely issues of our relationship with technology, connectedness, and where we are headed, but packs it all into an action adventure in the tradition of The Matrix before it. Bowie emerges from the gestalt of Silicon Valley to weave an adventure set in a quite-plausible future.
“Science fiction is here,” Bowie claims. “Self-driving cars, virtually anything we want delivered to our doorstep in a matter of hours, intelligent computers solving problems we didn’t know existed, the sum total of human knowledge on a screen in our pocket, wild societal inequities, an environment on the brink. Monopolies have reached into our homes with black box artificial intelligences. It snuck up on us, seduced us with hoodies and friendly logos. But, we’re there – science fiction is the new normal. Against that backdrop, I wanted to write a story that uses science fiction as a tool to explore. If our world is science fiction, then what sets us apart as human?”
THE HOUSES OF THE CURIOUS is an exuberant journey through a richly built science-fiction world painted in psychedelic visions and mythic fantasy. The story picks up with its heroine, Aurora, awakening to neural implants and strange memories of herself…but different. Shortly after, a ruthless mercenary arrives in search of her, and she and her friends must flee their home in search of an exiled war hero. The quest leads them into a world of technological wonders and spirited artificial beings, something closer to high fantasy than the grit of a typical cyberpunk future.
Bowie’s background conveys his own curiosity. As an environmental lawyer with degrees in biochemistry and Jungian psychology, he had a penchant for new answers to big questions. The marriage of myth and science comes together on the page. “Clever designers have figured out behavioral hacks to get us to interact with their platforms without even realizing it. I thought, to really get to these questions, we need to translate it to something we get in our gut. Myth is a language the soul understands.”
Bowie embodies the indie author experience, writing on the margins of the work day. Over the course of several years, he wrote THE HOUSES OF THE CURIOUS during train commutes and quiet nights when his wife was on call at the hospital. He first found success with his baffling apocalyptic short story, THE HOLE, winner of the 2017 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award for Horror.
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