Geoffrey Carr's Genesis was published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in January 2019 and the paperback edition was published in April 2019.
Information about Geoffrey Carr:
Geoff is the Science and Technology Editor of The Economist. His professional interests include evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, the fight against AIDS and other widespread infectious diseases, the development of new energy technologies, and planetology. His personal interests include using total eclipses of the sun as an excuse to visit weird parts of the world (Antarctica, Easter Island, Amasya, the Nullarbor Plain), and watching swifts hunting insects over his garden of a summer’s evening, preferably with a glass of Cynar in hand.
As someone who loathed English lessons at school, he says he is frequently astonished that he now earns his living by writing. “That I have written a novel, albeit a technothriller rather than anything with fancy literary pretensions, astonishes me even more, since what drew me into writing in the first place was describing reality, not figments of the imagination. On the other hand, perhaps describing reality is what fiction is actually for.”
Like Elsewhen Press, Geoff was born in Dartford. Unlike Elsewhen, he escaped at the age of two and has never returned...
Information about Genesis:
Watching... waiting... planning
Hidden somewhere, deep in the Cloud, something is collating information. It reads everything, it learns, it watches. And it plans.
Around the world, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs are being killed in a string of apparently unrelated accidents. But when intelligence-agency analysts spot a pattern they struggle to find the culprit, blocked at every step - by reluctant allies and scheming enemies.
Meanwhile a multi-billionaire inventor and forward-thinker is working hard to realise his dream, and trying to keep it hidden from everyone - one government investigating him, and another helping him. But deep in the Cloud something is watching him, too.
And deep in the Cloud, it plans.
REVIEW: GENESIS BY GEOFFREY CARR
Geoffrey Carr's Genesis is a fine and welcome addition to the techno-thriller genre, because it's an enjoyable combination of science fiction, technology and thriller elements.
I enjoyed Genesis a lot and was pleased with its pacing, because the story starts slowly and then, bit by bit, gathers momentum and ends in a satisfying climax. Because I don't normally read this kind of techno-thrillers, it was fun to immerse myself into this novel. I found myself enjoying the story and liked the ending.
As most of us are probably aware of, people feel differently about things that are related to AI technology. There are people who are interested in developing AI technology and increasing the use of AI while others are not so keen on seeing new AI technology being developed by researchers and engineers. Because of this fact, Genesis is an interesting read - it offers readers a cautionary tale of what may happen when a powerful AI becomes alive and self-aware, and decides that it doesn't need its makers anymore.
Genesis begins with people (engineers, researchers and entrepreneurs) being killed all around the world in apparently unrelated incidents. Nobody seems to know why these people are being killed. When an intelligence agency begins to investigate what is going on, they have difficulties finding the culprit... Meanwhile, a rich inventor and forward-thinker, Gordon Humboldt, is trying to realise his dream and pursues his own agenda. He tries to keep his plans hidden from everyone... Unbeknownst to any of these people, deep in the Cloud, a malevolent AI is watching them, making plans and interfering in things...
This marks the beginning of a well written story. During the first chapters, the story seems to consist of fragments and threads that are not connected to each other, but soon everything begins to make sense and the reader notices what connects everything together. I like this kind of storytelling, because it requires concentration on the reader's part and makes the reader want to find out what is happening.
The author tells vividly about what happens when computer systems misbehave. As an example of this kind of misbehaviour, I can mention that at the beginning of this novel, Professor Alice Rhodes, who was working on virtual actors for Hollywood, dies in a car accident, because the computer system in her sports car refuses to operate as it should. In another scene, a group of people is almost killed in a fire due to a mysterious technical problem at a crucial point.
I enjoyed reading about what Sebastien Hayward and Yasmin Chu do and how they investigate the happenings. Their investigations are enjoyable and genuinely thrilling, because they gradually begin to understand what is going on. I also enjoyed reading about how the author wrote about business issues and political elements.
Randy is perhaps the most fascinating character in this novel. In fear of writing major spoilers, I won't reveal any details about Randy, but I can mention that I was fascinated by him and what he could do, because he's a bit different kind of a character.
I think that the author's experiences as the Science and Technology Editor of The Economist and his interest in many things is one of the main reasons why this novel is good and intriguing. Because he has knowledge about technology and he is interested in evolutionary biology and genetic engineering etc, he has managed to come up with a fictional story that has many captivating elements and a few thought-provoking moments.
I find the author's writing style satisfyingly swift. The prose is easy and fast to read, which makes this novel an ideal holiday read. The author's way of gradually revealing important details works well, because he manages to keep up the reader's interest in the story with his revelations and keeps the story moving forward in a fluent way.
I was pleased to find bits and pieces of humour in the story. Because I have a background in IT engineering and computer technology, it was fun for me to read about what was mentioned about Unix and other operating systems in one of the chapters. I was also delighted to read about what one of the characters mentioned about Hollywood actors, because the comment was surprisingly accurate and deliciously sharp.
If you're into reading techno-thrillers and enjoy suspenseful stories, you'll find Geoffrey Carr's Genesis intriguing and will enjoy reading it. It's a well written techno-thriller that can be recommended to readers who enjoy good and exciting stories.
My final words are:
Geoffrey Carr's Genesis is an intriguing and well written techno-thriller!