The Story Continues
The Kickstarter did not reach its goal. However, I do intend to get “The Curmudgeon Code” published, though I cannot foresee when or how at this time. For those of you who showed interest, I would like to give you some further insight.
As outlined in the Kickstarter, “The Curmudgeon Code” is a thick work. It began with a primary social message, which is buried in the story. The message is the idea that everyday data collection, the forms of data collection we take for granted these days, could have some negative repercussions in the long run. As the message is played out, the work dives into deep ideas of consciousness, an exploration of where consciousness, what some might call the soul, resides. This question becomes more important as technology marches closer toward Artificial Intelligence.
While the novel debates these important real world concepts, these ideas are portrayed within a fictional story. Stories require some drama – unexpected events, heartbreak or shock, as well as character growth. I believe “The Curmudgeon Code” does this very well.
I will tell you “The Curmudgeon Code” is not the end of the tale. There are two other novels already in some stage of work. That said; do not think of these works as a “trilogy”. They are, but they also are not.
When I write, I like to write with some inner social message. The message of the second novel is the dwindling sense of community in a world dominated by smartphones, social networks, and global businesses. I acknowledge that social networks are a form of community, but they do seem to strip away a sense of local, physical community. You cannot help your neighbor raise a barn with a tweet. You cannot help that old lady across the street with her groceries if you do not notice her because you are focused on your phone.
The second novel’s working title is “The Community Code”. It will center on Jot, the son of Joshua, the main character in “The Curmudgeon Code”. There will be some important revelations about Artificial Intelligence and consciousness in “The Community Code”. These revelations may seem contradictory to “The Curmudgeon Code” – contradictory, but not out of context or plausibility. I will be examining the flipside of the coin.
The third work is more sketchy at this point, though some aspects of it are very solid. It’s working title is “The Consciousness Code”. It will jump far into the future, from the perspective of either of the two previous novels. It will contain a huge shock for the readers of the other works. What its social message will be, I am not sure. It may not even have one, as the primary issue in it will be the ongoing quest to understand consciousness itself. As such, it may not need any form of blatant message, though there is an underlying message of understanding our place in the world and the importance of all things.. In it, the Artificials – AI – will achieve a new level of consciousness.
Just because AIs are smarter than humans does not necessarily make them more conscious. Intelligence and consciousness do go hand-in-hand, but there are huge pools of varied intelligence with common conscious levels. In the third novel, the AIs will make an unforeseen leap. Half of the battle in writing the work will be trying to express and explain something that is outside of human experience. I may not be up to the task, but I do have some very clear ideas on this.
Earlier I said these works should not be viewed as a trilogy. The intent is to write each book as a book in itself. The reader will not need knowledge of the preceding or following novels. Moreover, they will be written in such a way that they could be read in any order, revealing the entire story, though the reader may form a different perspective depending on the order in which they are read. If read in the written order, they would appear as a trilogy, 1 leading to 2, leading to 3. However, they could be read 3, 1, 2, with 1 and 2 appearing to be histories to 3, or 2, 3, 1, or 2, 1, 3, or 1, 3, 2, with parts appearing to be histories, and parts appearing to be progressions.
I do know this, and I find this a fun twist. The very last line of the third work, “The Consciousness Code” is also the very first line of “The Curmudgeon Code”. When I conceived that, I nearly jumped through the roof. It was so clear and so unexpected, and yet so very logical. It turns the works into a wonderful Mobius strip, or more importantly into a Loopy Feedback – an important consideration when discussing consciousness. Pick up “I am a Strange Loop” by Douglas Hofstadter if that doesn’t make clear sense to you right now.
So there you have it. I will get “The Curmudgeon Code” published someday, with two other related works as well – all things permitting.