“Prad is a member of the DeeMarchy, an elite society of data miners dedicated to finding the patterns in chaos and exposing the lies that permeate our society. Or so he thinks. In reality, he’s a second-rate programmer working for a faceless company and obsessed with a woman he can’t possibly have. Until one day when a mysterious package arrives that plunges him into a mystery ten years in the making. If he can crack the code, he just might be able to save his friends and himself. If not, they’ll lose everything: their jobs, their freedom, and even their lives. Like everything else in Prad’s wireless world, the answer is out there, just waiting to be mined!”
Well that’s the gist of the story anyway, as it appears on the dust-jacket. Based on the life of a programmer who spends his evening cavorting with hackers, the story also delves into the world of espionage, cryptography, and a real-life conspiracy theory that I just happened to uncover in the course of doing background research.
This involved the downing of the F-117A Nighthawk over Serbia during the Kosovo war and the subsequent bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Some believed that the former was the result of treason, while others speculated that the latter was the result of the former. In the course of looking into both, I found grounds for believing one and rejecting the other, but used both. After all, fiction thrives from history’s grey areas. Just look at Dan Browne!
But more important to the story is the deeper elements I wanted to include. These are things which I hope to explore in some added depths in the sequel (or sequels) to this novel. For starters, I wanted to explore this thing we call consciousness, specifically whether it’s something tangible, and more importantly, reproducible. Scientists speculate that being able to store human consciousness in the form of a construct (a la Neuromancer), is right up there with nanotechnology, quantum computers and super-intelligent AI’s.
In short, it will allow us to cheat death and create a world where just about anything is possible, thus ushering in the Technological Singularity that will change history and make the future unfathomable. But always, I was looking to write a story that would be funny and entertaining as well as informative. I hope I have accomplished just that with this story, but that’s for readers to decide. Look for it this coming summer! Data Miners, to be followed not long thereafter by its high-action sequel Data Pirates!