Debuting in 2020, Scott Falcon is a new American author writing cutting edge novels in different thriller genres.Scott is an avid outdoorsman, a conservation advocate, and is a member/sponsor of Wild Oceans, World Wildlife Fund, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, International Anti Poaching Foundation, and The Sea Shepard Conversation Society. Scott lives in Ventura, California. His technothriller, Threshold, was very well received. All five-star reviews, the epic novel hit #1 in Hard Science Fiction and #3 in Technothrillers on Amazon. It also made 14 other Bestseller lists. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about Threshold.
Please give us a short introduction to what Threshold is about.
Threshold takes place at a time in the near future when technologists are on the brink of creating an SIAI, a Super Intelligent Artificial Intelligence, also known as the singularity. It is an AI that is truly self-aware. As you might guess, things do not go well.
What inspired you to write about a world where all technology stops working, except for AI?
The power of a true singularity is unknowable, both good and bad, and one possibility is that the AI does not want the competition.
Why did you set your story in 2040?
We are at the dawn of AI, we need a bit more time for the singularity to emerge.
Tell us more about Becca Wilde. What makes her tick?
She is a savant, but also, masked by her frailty, and failing body is a tenacity and will to survive that is warrior-like. It is something she discovers through major conflict.
Why did you create Becca as a terminally ill autistic savant?
For one thing, they exist in nature. What an interesting dichotomy—a failing frail body and the mind of a genius. Then add to that the world around is collapsing, and she must use her mind to come to the aid of humanity.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Two reviews for Threshold, one that appeared on Google Play yesterday were as follows:
Threshold The best kind of science fiction, this takes you on ride to ask questions, to think & wonder.
Threshold is an amazing book
If I can inspire people to think and wonder and create something they think is amazing, I will spend my time refining that one skill. All else pales.
The story has a lot of twists and turns. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?
Every one of my novels takes its own path. Threshold was originally titled THE STREAM. It was 200,000 words, an epic story, almost a trilogy. I wrote it over several years, several drafts. Many drafts. Originally I outlined it in a fairly detailed way, but it changed through the creation process.
My latest novel, CELERITY, coming out on July 15, 2020, I wrote entirely differently. I did not know what would happen next until I got into the world while writing it. TideFall, an eco-thriller that I am writing now, is a cross between the two styles.
The Stream is an interesting concept. Please tell us more about it.
2040…VENTURA CALIFORNIA. Becca Wilde, a terminally ill teenage autistic savant, senses a presence—an intelligence—in THE STREAM, the virtual reality entertainment phenomenon created by her tech-billionaire father. She believes the intelligence can create a cure, but her father intends to use radical technology. They are running out of time. Then technology stops working.
All of it.
No Internet. No screens. Not even cars. But one thing is working—a Russian A.I. that mutated—and is now in the wild.
Becca may hold the key to the future. Any future. If there is going to be one. But…only if she can communicate with a super-intelligence—that hasn’t been invented yet.
Do any of your characters take off on their own tangent and refuse to do what you had planned for them?
Yes, on occasion, but usually their actions stay within their core. Although Celerity, the main character in my third novel arcs significantly to the dark side. I guess the answer depends if the character is a steadfast or an arcing character.
Your novel raises the question of whether technology will save us or destroy us. Which do you believe?
It will have the potential to do either. However, humankind is destroying the natural world right now. That is the atrocity that is real and in front of us today. Poaching, polluting, pillaging… by humans, not machines.
Does writing about surreal worlds and enigmatic scenes present any particular problems?
Time. It is time-consuming from the creation process. It evolves. It is challenging to write it quickly.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Coffee, then outside with nature for a bit to think. I live in an amazing place, Ventura, California, so I am surrounded by nature in one of the best climates on the planet. I soak that in every morning. Then I write until sometime in the afternoon when the creative fires subside.
What are you working on right now?
TideFall. It is about an eco-terrorist that sets up a violent vigilante global network to attack the poachers, polluters, and pillagers of the natural world in a way the feckless politicians won’t. His targets include the Chinese communist party, the world’s biggest polluter, corporate CEOs and others.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?