Extinction: a thriller by Mark Alpert focusing on prosthetic limbs and brain-interface technology
Mark Alpert, author of the international bestselling thriller Final Theory and its sequel, The Omega Theory, is going to release his next book, Extinction, a futuristic thriller focusing on prosthetic limbs and brain-interface technology. Alpert has been working on Extinction for at least two years – our longtime readers might remember we ran a piece about the planned novel in early 2011 – and the complete novel will be published by Macmillan next month, on February 12. 2013. Interested? Read on and Want to find out more on the plot.
Extinction’s story is about Jim Pierce, a soldier-turned-scientist, who hasn’t heard from his daughter Layla in years. Why? Because the girl rejected his dad’s military past and started working as a hacker. But when a Chinese assassin shows up at Jim’s lab looking for the girl, he knows that she’s cracked a very serious military secret…
The secret is a Chinese government project called “Supreme Harmony”, a surveillance system that uses cyborg insects — living flies equipped with cameras and radio controls — to spy on dissident groups. (According to the author’s website this is a technology that real-life scientists are developing for military purposes.)
Of course Extinction wouldn’t be a proper thriller if the Chinese researchers wouldn’t want to analyze the insects’ recordings through condemned prisoners’ brains. So they insert electronic implants into the prisoners’ heads, turning them into a network of zombie-like “Modules” who are wirelessly linked to one another.
It all sounds nice but you know Murphy’s Law, if anything can go wrong, it will: the project goes completely out of control when the network develops its own intelligence, a collective consciousness that takes control of the “Modules”.
Fortunately, our hero Jim is brave enough to fight the man-machine network – by the way, being part-machine himself as well, he is the only one able to defeat the cyber-zombies. He wears the most advanced prosthetic arm which lets him punch through walls – so expect a good dose of action but also a mix of science, romance, travel and adventures.
What really makes this thriller outstanding is the fact that all the technologies described in Extinction are real on some level. Mark Alpert, the author, is a contributing editor at Scientific American, which regularly reports – just like us at Neurogadget – on the recent advances in brain-computer interfaces.
Does Extinction sound exciting to you? Are you going to buy the book? Tell us what you think in the comments below.