Award-winning author John Bowie '01 recently released his debut novel The Houses of the Curious, a science fiction tale that explores the relationship between humans and AI. “What if AI were tricksters and troubadours instead of terminators?” Bowie asks. His book magines such a world. The novel strikes on timely issues of our relationship with technology, connectedness, and where we are headed, but packs it all into an action adventure in the tradition of The Matrix before it. Bowie emerges from the gestalt of Silicon Valley to weave an adventure set in a quite-plausible future.
“We live in science fiction,” Bowie claims. “Self-driving cars, virtually anything we want delivered to our doorstep in a matter of hours, intelligent computers solving problems we didn’t know existed, the sum total of human knowledge on a screen in our pocket, wild societal inequities, an environment on the brink. We’re inundated by near-monopolies and black-box artificial intelligences. It snuck up on us, seduced us with hoodies and friendly logos. But, we’re there – science fiction is the new normal. Against that backdrop, I wanted to write a book that uses science fiction as a tool to explore. If our world is science fiction, then what sets us apart as human?”
Bowie embodies the indie author experience, writing on the margins of the work day. Over the course of several years, he wrote The Houses of the Curious during BART commutes and the quiet nights of his wife’s medical residency. He eschewed the traditional path for the freedom of indie and found success with his baffling apocalyptic short story, The Hole, winner of the 2017 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award for Horror. To purchase a copy of the novel visit Amazon.