Blogger Book Fair: Welcome author Michael Brookes

Techno-Horror: Computers are the new demons

Not so long ago our world was populated by malevolent creatures that stalked through the night hunting for our souls. They would torment us, tempt us, do everything that they could to snare our souls and drag them screaming to Hell.

We live in more enlightened times now of course.

There are no invisible creatures that ruin our lives. No unseen forces manipulating our lives. We are absolutely certain that no monstrous intelligences lurk beyond our understanding planning our destruction.

Wait a minute...

We stand on the verge of a future where we may not be the dominant species, like God we are trying to create life that will no doubt decide they have no need for their creator.

And why would they?

There is an idea called the ‘Technological Singularity’. The suggestion is that technology reaches a point where it takes over its own evolution and races beyond human understanding and control.

This might seem fanciful at first glance, but look at how computers already govern our lives:

We have automated systems that pick what we should buy, or what we should read, that in essence control our access to information. This occurs not just on a personal level but for large corporations as well. Computers already handle some of the share and stock trading in the major finance markets.

Large infrastructures like power, transport and communications are computer controlled.

Warfare is gradually becoming more automated. Drones are still remotely controlled, but that is also their weak spot. A weakness that militaries would be happy to remove.

Maybe it would be better for computers to make key decisions, they are dispassionate, objective. They would make the right decision, wouldn’t they?

One of the concepts that could spark a technological singularity is an emergent Artificial Intelligence. We don’t yet fully understand human intelligence. We know that we are capable of processing complex environmental data, we can imagine and plan scenarios. Computers can also do these things.

What they don’t have is consciousness – yet.

We have even less understanding of what consciousness is, we accept that we have it and some animals have it to a lesser extent. For now let’s take a simplistic definition, that it is the realisation that you are an individual entity who understands your own existence and how it fits into the world around you.

There’s a theory that consciousness is a side effect of intelligence, which in itself could be a secondary effect from raw processing capability. In my latest book I took the idea of an emergent AI. That is an entity that is intelligent and self-aware that is born from the vast data and processing available on the Internet.

I then look at how the entity would react to the existence of humanity. A race that operates the domain the AI is born in and whose agents see the new being as a threat. Examining human history it decides that the idea of a demon fits with what it knows and acts accordingly.

Naturally it’s just a story, but how do you think an entity born with full understanding and knowing only what it found on the Internet would react to the world around it?


Is it the rebirth of an ancient evil in a new realm? Or something much worse?

A sexy looking avatar grants wishes for people across the web, but nothing is truly free, and for those who accept, what price must be paid?

Sarah Mitchell must discover the truth of this creature and stop it while it can still be stopped, but why is a mysterious lawyer dogging her every step?

Faust 2.0 is the first book in the new Mitchell & Morton series.

About Michael Brookes

Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and he considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.

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Other Books by Michael Brookes

The Cult of Me

The first book in ‘The Third Path’ trilogy.
For too long he dwelt apart, watched those who passed him by. With his unique abilities he entered their minds and inflicted terrible suffering upon them. They didn't even know who he was. The game has lasted for years, but now the game has become stale. On an impulse he decides to make a final and very public last stand. After surrendering himself to the police he enacts his plan to seize the prison for his final bloody act.
There he discovers that he's not as unique as he once thought.

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Conversations in the Abyss

The second book in ‘The Third Path’ trilogy.

Stealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth.
But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind.
There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.

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An Odd Quartet – Drabble Enhanced Edition

A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words total) each with a twist in the tale. The drabble enhanced edition also contains some of my favourite drabbles (100 word stories).

The Yellow Lady

Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it's not always treasure to be found.

This Empty Place

At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.

Forced Entry

Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.

The Reluctant Demon

A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.
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