A big welcome to Alex Hughes who is here for an interview and also celebrating the release of Marked, Mindspace Investigations #3 (published on April 1, 2014 by Roc).
Interview with Alex Hughes
ATUF: Mindscape Investigations has a noir detective feel too it. Who are some of your favorite detectives?
AH: There are so many great detectives in so many media! Let’s say (for now): Sherlock Holmes, Archie McNally (the hero of a series by Lawrence Sanders), Brenda Leigh Johnson from The Closer, Sharon Raydor from Major Crimes, Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb’s Death novels, and The Big Bad Wolf from the video game The Wolf Among Us.
What were some of your influences while writing this series?
A major influence was Joan D. Vinge’s Catspaw, a novel about a tortured telepath wanting to make his way in the world. I knew I wanted to do something very much like that, and I’d grown up on Star Trek and cop shows, so adding elements of the future and detective coolness made sense to me. I was also a very big fan of the original CSI, which got me started on forensics ideas and gave me a great jumping off point for research.
Do you think something like the Tech Wars could happen in our actual future?
I’d like to think it wouldn’t. I have a lot of hope for a world in which we solve problems faster than we create them (read Abundance by Diamandis and Kotler for a well-researched approach argument as to why that’s likely), but I also fear how quickly technology is gaining power over our daily lives. The Internet is an amazing tool, and our cell phones and always-on world have a lot of benefits, but I worry that the sound-byte click-wars of the Internet make us less likely to think deeply about anything. It’s easy to get polarized and inch-deep on any topic. There is no question that the Internet is changing everything, and it will certainly change us as a species in some significant way over time, if only in how we learn to cope with so much information available so quickly. My worry is then, what happens if it gets taken away? There’s a cool concept of the Internet of Things, where objects are tracked and managed with an Internet-like system. It has huge implications for everything from factory efficiency to better shipping practices to helping you find your keys, and it’s coming, soon. But if your most basic surroundings are controlled by computers, etc., what happens when someone takes over your computer? Could someone hack your keys? Or worse, hack your heating system to start a fire? There are some major security questions around the Internet that we still haven’t resolved to our liking as a people. What questions must we face as the world grows exponentially more complex and trackable?
Tech vs Human minds: Who would win in a fight?
Who solves problems better? In basic calculations and practical algorithm-driven problems? Absolutely the Tech. But on something that requires complex, creative thinking? Absolutely the human, every time.
If we’re talking an actual mind-fight, it’s numbers-driven. Enough telepaths can overcome a Tech hub, but enough Tech modules will overwhelm a telepath every time.
What technology can you not live without?
I love air conditioning and indoor plumbing. They are very underrated.
What technology kind of scares you?
See above. The more power we give technology over our lives, the more I ask how that power may be abused. And that applies to practically every kind of technology. When we can start bioengineering our children, for example, what does that lead to? Will the rich outlive the poor because they could pay for cleaner genes? Will we choose one kind of person (or look, or brains, or body type) over another often enough to change our world?
Any hints on what we can expect for future books in the Mindscape Investigations?
(Smiles mysterious smile.) Things will get harder for Adam as he must face big enemies, a Guild with a huge agenda of its own, and his own demons. Not to mention he must figure out this thing with Cherabino.
I just released a short story in Adam’s world that I’m very proud of. (Rabbit Trick on Amazon and Barnes & Noble) I’m working on a collaboration with my friend and critique partner Kerry Schafer about a hotel ghost. And I have other Super Secret worlds & characters in the works. To make sure you stay up to date with all the latest (and get occasional free short stories from me), sign up for my email newsletter at http://www.ahugheswriter.com/email-signup.
Thanks for having me on the blog!
Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. She is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily all at the same time!
Marked by Alex Hughes
Available on April 1, 2014 by Roc
FORESEE NO EVIL.
Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.
When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.
Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.
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