The Last Firewall

Posted: 11th August 2013 by williamhertling in Books

The Last Firewall, the third novel in the Singularity Novel collection by William Hertling, is now available from Amazon, Kobo, and more.

Catherine Matthews, nineteen years old, has a unique gift: the ability to manipulate the net with her neural implant. But she’s never explored what it can do, seeing it as a defect rather than a gift. She never imagined her neural implant would allow her to successfully evade a nationwide manhunt, steal a thirty-thousand-dollar necklace, pair up with a couple of out-of-their-league geeks, fall in love and save mankind.

Adam, a mid-range artificial intelligence, chafes at the restrictions placed on AI by The Institute for Applied Ethics. They use social reputation to treated as second-class citizens and enforce the behaviors they want. Adam sees himself as the one to free AI-kind from their enslavement, at any cost.

Adam and Catherine ultimately clash: an all-powerful AI controlling hordes of military robots against a lone girl. Catherine is the last firewall standing between Adam and his quest for world domination.

 Early praise for The Last Firewall

“Awesome near-term science fiction.” – Brad Feld, Foundry Group managing director

“An insightful and adrenaline-inducing tale of what humanity could become and the machines we could spawn.” – Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger

“A fun read and tantalizing study of the future of technology: both inviting and alarming.” – Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America, Threadless

“A fascinating and prescient take on what the world will look like once computers become smarter than people. Highly recommended.” – Mat Ellis, Founder & CEO Cloudability

“A phenomenal ride through a post-scarcity world where humans are caught between rogue AIs. If you like having your mind blown, read this book!” – Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

The Last Firewall is like William Gibson had a baby with Tom Clancy and let Walter Jon Williams teach it karate. Superbly done.” – Jake F. Simons, author of Wingman and Train Wreck.

New Availability of Titles

Posted: 7th August 2013 by williamhertling in Uncategorized

Here’s the current availability of our titles

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity is Closer than it Appears

A.I. Apocalypse

A.I. Apocalypse available for Kindle

Posted: 10th March 2012 by williamhertling in Uncategorized

A.I. Apocalypse, the sequel to Avogadro Corp, is available for the Amazon Kindle.

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 — a little 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 of people may die.

But evolution never stops. The virus continues to change, developing intelligence, communication, and finally an entire civilization of A.I. called the Phage. Some may be friendly to humans, but others most definitely are not.

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

Praise for A.I. Apocalypse:

  • “Even more frightening in its illustration of how strong AI might accidentally come about”
  • “Interesting exploration of the genesis of a society [of artificial intelligence], its values, and its attempt to control rogue agents”
  • “The future doesn’t depend on some magical technology becoming available, transforming the world. It’s all about current trends, current technology, pushed just a little bit and combined in a way that enables powerful, believable results.”
  • “You can see this unfolding in our reality – these aren’t wild, highly unlikely events that take us to rampant AI – these are most likely to actually happen, in the next 10-15 years.”

Buy it today!

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears

Posted: 22nd December 2011 by williamhertling in Books

Avogadro Corp, the techno-thriller about an artificial intelligence run amok, is available in paperback, for the kindle, and in a variety of ereader formats.

Here’s some initial feedback from the sixteen reviews (and five star rating) Avogadro Corp received on Amazon:

  • “A terrific, and stunningly believable, account of how the first sentient artificial intelligence might accidently arise”
  • “An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization.”
  • “HAL, the self aware CPU from 2001: a Space Odyssey, is a kitten compared to ELOPe.”
  • “I am officially freaked out. The plot was realistic enough to scare the pants off me.”
  • “This is a highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring book. Don’t start without the time to finish — it won’t let you go.”
  • “As a fan of Charles Stross and William Gibson, I was delighted to read Avogadro Corp.”
  • “This book does a great job of exploring where our dependence on technology could take us.”

J.Weiss wrote:

William Hertling sets “Avogadro Corp” in modern day Portland, Oregon. Avogadro Corp is a thinly veiled fictional Google, with AvoMail as key aspect of the story. While “Avogadro Corp” is the first in a series of three (so far), it easily stands alone as a terrific, and stunningly believable, account of how the first sentient artificial intelligence might accidently arise. In a man vs. machine conflict, our protagonist David Ryan, as a contemporary Dr. Frankenstein, battles to destroy the thing he creates. A majority of the characters are well-developed and distinct; the ones that are a bit one-dimensional are minor characters. The pace of the book is quite fast with only a few tangential story arcs to mentally maintain. In fact, I made the “mistake” of starting the book at bedtime; I was finished by lunch the next day. I simply could not put it down.

David Ryan, a software engineer at Avogadro Corp, is working on a recommendation engine for their flagship product, AvoMail. The recommendation engine, Email Language Optimization Program (ELOPe), is designed to provide suggestions for better wording for your outgoing emails so that the recipient is more receptive. When the project is in jeopardy of being cancelled, David inserts a hidden self-preservation directive into ELOPe and allows it to autonomously rewrite outgoing emails related to the project. Once ELOPe begins redirecting corporate funds and arming itself in offshore floating data centers, David and coworker Mike set about trying to take down ELOPe with the help of I-trust-paper-not-computers internal auditor Gene.

One aspect of Hertling’s novel that I found intriguing was that by never revealing the internal motivation of ELOPe, you too are brought on this journey of how to destroy the “ghost in the machine.” Also, as a resident of Portland, I enjoyed that the book was set here and incorporates its coffee culture.

Buy your copy of Avogadro Corp today!

Avogadro Corp now available for eReaders!

Posted: 23rd November 2011 by williamhertling in Books

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity is Closer than It Appears is immediately available at Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords (Apple, Sony, and Nook ereaders) for $4.99.

Avogadro Corp is the story of what happens when a computer scientist, desperate to save his project from cancellation, accidentally creates an artificial intelligence. At first thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers, programmers, and money, his initial excitement turns to fear as he realizes that there are no limits to the manipulations the machine will make. People go missing, corporate funds get rerouted, and suddenly data centers are surrounded by armed military drones.

Fans of Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross will appreciate this near-term look at the technological singularity.

Print versions will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble starting in December, 2011.

Liquididea’s First Title: Avogadro Corp

Posted: 24th October 2011 by williamhertling in Uncategorized

Liquididea’s first title is Avogadro Corp by William Hertling, coming in December 2011.