Fullscreen
Loading...
 
[Show/Hide Left Column]

Kevin MacArdry

Weblog of the author of the Singularity virtual reality novel, The Last Trumpet Project.
Sadly, This Isn't in a Novel

In the LTP, governments are quite limited in their ability to spy on the cyberverse, because they've become impoverished, and thus have fallen behind and no longer have access to the best and latest technology. Unfortunately in today's world, governments are still printing money to buy the latest and greatest technology, and thus are able to spy on the Internet to an amazing extent. (If you doubt that it's truly that bad, then please read this(external link).)

So what do we do, what can we do, to protect ourselves as individuals? The answer is to utilize the pro-privacy technology that's already available to us today! Fortunately, there is no way to pass a law which mandates that mathematics will be easier if you're working for the government. Number one on the hit parade of easy-to-use privacy tech? Virtual private networks, or VPNs. These are discussed in my book, because I thought (and continue to think) that they'll still be a vital part of networking infrastructure even in the 2040s.

But they're also available today. I can enthusiastically recommend one VPN vendor in particular (simply because I'm involved with it), namely ElanVPN(external link). Everything we can preserve from being spied upon increases our chances that the government will be weaker in the future, as it is in the world of The Last Trumpet Project. Do both yourself and the future a favor, and go have a look.

-KJM

It's always gratifying to an author when someone values your work enough to purchase it. But it's even more gratifying when someone offers to sell it!

Untraceable, metal-backed digital currency plays a role in my novel, in which a common means of effecting payment in the cyberverse is through Aurumnet. Aurumnet, for "element net," is just such a system.

The Voucher-Safe digital cash system is an implementation of what could be described as a very early form of Aurumnet. It's controlled by people and businesses acting as asset publishers, issuers, and merchants, rather than by the super AIs which control Aurumnet in the 2040s. And so far, it isn't linked to a global mesh protocol called DrOS, as Aurumnet is in my book, simply because DrOS has yet to be developed! Nevertheless I consider this technology to be an exciting step in the direction of truly free market digital commodity money.

The group which is promoting the adoption of the Voucher-Safe technology is called the Digital Cash Alliance(external link). They're also selling awesome VPN credentials from Cryptohippie, and books and t-shirts, and taking donations to support their work. One of the books they have decided to sell, with my permission, is The Last Trumpet Project, which is available in either printed or e-book form.

I would sincerely urge anyone who enjoys the crypto-anarchist themes in my book to take a good look at the work the Digital Cash Alliance is now doing.

Kevin MacArdry
30 August, 2015

Hi all,

I'll be attending the annual Libertopia festival(external link) in San Diego this October 20-24th. I'll be selling and signing copies of my book there, along with attending talks, demoing some new software, and participating in a forum. If you've read my book or would like to, stop on by.

Hope to see some readers there!

-kjm

First of all, we're back online! Due to a series of snafus with the registrar, our domain registration temporarily lapsed. Apologies to our readers and subscribers who may have been inconvenienced by this outage.

Secondly, the winner of the 2011 Prometheus Award(external link) for Best Novel was announced (appropriately) on July 4th. The winning book was Darkship Thieves, by Sarah Hoyt. Considering that her novel beat out not only TLTP, but also books by previous Prometheus winners Cory Doctorow and L. Neil Smith, along with one by John Ringo, Darkship Thieves must be one heck of a libertarian novel! (I confess I have not read it -- yet.) Congratulations to Ms. Hoyt! Personally, I'm extremely gratified that a privately published first novel was even seriously considered for such a prestigious award.

Third and finally, I would like to commend to your attention an event concerning the coming of the real Singularity. The work of inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil was a seminal inspiration for my novel. This coming 3rd of August, 2011 there will be a special showing of Transcendent Man: A Conversation About the Future(external link), live from New York City and carried in select theaters around the US. This presentation will include substantial excerpts from his documentary film Transcendent Man, together with a live panel discussion involving such interesting personalities as Dr. Deepak Chopra and Steve Wozniak. A trailer and list of participating theaters can be found on the site. I'll definitely be there!

The Last Trumpet Project is now a Prometheus Award Finalist!

In a recent press release(external link), the LFS has announced the five finalists for this year's Prometheus Award for best novel. I'm very gratified to note that The Last Trumpet Project has made the cut as a finalist.

I consider this a vindication in two respects: first, that a self-published novel has beaten out five other nominated books published by mainstream/legacy publishers such as Ace, Baen, and Tor; and second, that an opus by L. Neil Smith (Ceres) is one of the other contenders. One never composes a novel with an eye to fulfilling contest criteria, but it was very much a goal of mine to write a book which was just as hard-hitting and principled as a book by L. Neil Smith. To find the result of my efforts in a direct face-off with one of his books, along with those of four other fine writers, is of course most gratifying.

I'd like to say "thank you" to the ten judges who selected the finalists. A copy of my book is now on the way to each of the 19 finalist judges. And with that, may the best novel win!

It's generally gratifying to an author to receive interview requests. I recently received one from Tom Jackson, who blogs on RAWIllumination.net(external link), among other sites. Mr. Jackson is also one of the finalist judges for this year's Prometheus Award (see my earlier post below concerning the contest). He has recently posted our interview(external link) on his site.

As can be seen from that interview, while I would love to be able to claim that I was deliberately writing to appeal to fans of the late great Robert Anton Wilson, in actual fact it would be disingenuous of me to do so. However I'm quite pleased to learn that RAW fans can find much to like in my book, especially shared themes such as libertarianism, immortality, enhanced intelligence, and nonviolence.

My thanks to Mr. Jackson for his interest, and for allowing me the space to supply some slightly rambling answers to his questions.


I've been informed that The Last Trumpet Project has been nominated for the 2011 Prometheus Award, for best novel. This award is given by the Libertarian Futurist Society(external link), and has been presented since 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf and fantasy. A full list of past winners in all Prometheus categories is posted on their website.

Given the names on the list of previous winners, I cannot help but feel extremely honored even to be nominated for this award. The purpose of the Prometheus award is to highlight science fiction works whose plots, themes, characters and/or specific issues reflect the value of personal freedom and human rights, or which seriously dramatize or satirically critique tyranny or abuses of power -- especially unchecked government power. Although one never writes a book with an eye toward winning an award, I will freely admit that extolling personal freedom and dramatizing the abuse of power were among the very clear goals that I had in mind while writing the novel. This makes the nomination doubly gratifying.

I'm given to understand that the procedure is for a panel of finalist judges to narrow the nominees down to five finalists, after which the whole membership of the LFS makes the final decision. The Prometheus awards are given at the World Science Fiction Convention, normally held the first weekend in September.

If you haven't read my book yet, perhaps you should have a look at it. Particularly if you're a full voting member of the LFS. biggrin


I'm please to be able to announce that my book is now available in a printed softcover edition! Not everybody wants to read books at their computers, and so I'm happy to have a traditional book to offer as well.

This edition was prepared through lulu.com(external link), whose services I would gladly commend to anyone wishing to prepare a print-on-demand version of an e-book. This is the new paradigm, folks. No more submitting to publishers who try to guess the number of copies to print in advance. Now books can be printed on demand as orders are placed for them by readers, and they still ship in 3-5 days.

The link for the book is here:

LTP Printed Edition(external link)

I'm told that in another month or so, it will show up on Amazon and order lists for retail bookstores. Presently, only the Kindle download version is available on Amazon.

Exciting times we live in, to be sure!

-KJM

Announcing Version 1.2!

It's been almost two years since the first draft of The Last Trumpet Project was completed. Recently, I've had the occasion to make some revisions to the book. One of the benefits of an online publication is that this is simply a matter of editing by the author; nothing needs to be reprinted. The most significant change is the addition of a new Prologue, while the former prologue has now become Chapter 1. A large number of clarifications, typographical and word choice edits have also been incorporated.

I'd like to thank my early readers for constructive feedback, and editorial suggestions, especially my friend Jim Davidson. True constructive criticism definitely helps improve almost any work of literature or art.

I have also decided to allow future readers the opportunity to register a login on this website for free, and then download the book in PDF, or read it on the site. (Though they can still purchase it later if they choose, and I hope they will if they enjoyed it.) The book continues to be available in Mobipocket format on eBookbase.com and Amazon.

The next step for me will be to arrange a printed meatspace edition of the work, which can then be ordered from various print-on-demand publishers. It is apparent that most Moshes still prefer their physical paper books. eek

Thanks for stopping by!

-KJM


Digital Gold Currency Magazine publishes interview

Sometimes an author's work gets publicized through unexpected avenues.

This is certainly the case with this interview. Mr. Mark Herpel of DGCMagazine.com contacted me a while ago and requested a short interview, conducted via email. Mr. Herpel's magazine is dedicated to covering events and developments in the digital gold and online payments industry. I found it a fascinating read, and not just for my small part of it!

This interest came about because I talk about gold-based digital payment systems of the future in my book (i.e. Aurumnet). I am of course aware of such systems that exist today: e-gold, GoldMoney, Pecunix, and so on. As a matter of fact, this website cheerfully accepts them as payment for the book! But it turns out that the interest is mutual. Mr. Herpel wanted to publish an interview with me because it's unusual to find DGCs featured in a science fiction novel.

Well, I do think that present day fiat currency and central banking "credit" systems are ultimately doomed and will end up getting replaced by some kind of commodity digital currency, similar to Aurumnet. I also think that such systems, especially while in their infancy, are very likely to be subjected to ruthless suppression by the authorities, who (rightly) fear competition they cannot hope to cope with otherwise.

Unfortunately, the September issue of DGC Magazine also details the latest government attack against one such firm, e-bullion.com, which operated out of the United States. I can't claim to know everything that's going on with this case (even after reading Mr. Herpel's excellent article on it), and one must certainly make allowances for sensationalism, but I can't help but feel that operating a business such as this in the US was probably a foolish choice to begin with. It is after all the very center of monetary monopoly. Even more unfortunately, one of the e-bullion founders, Ms. Pamela Fayed, was recently knifed to death in a parking garage.

The interview is available here(external link), on pp. 24, 26-7. Though IMHO the entire issue is worth reading!

I'd like to thank Mr. Herpel for the opportunity to speak to his readers, who like many of us are focused on the future.

-KJM



Page: 1/2
12

Purchase the Book

This website is the only website for The Last Trumpet Project approved by the author.

To purchase your copy of the novel, please click here.

You may also read it online for free by registering a login on this site. (See the more information and excerpt pages for the required passcode).