MENLO PARK, Calif. — Sunbury Press has released Joseph Carvalko’s latest novel, Death by Internet, speculative fiction about a prisoner who is at the mercy of public opinion via social media.
Carvalko takes the reader to the outer edge of technology and ethics in a speculative fiction that evokes the bizarre power of the Internet to reveal if the world is merciful.
Strapped down and dying in a prison cell, Sam Mariani tells how he had invited the public to respond to his blog, but rather than click the familiar “Like” button as on Facebook, they voted to either “Die” or “Live”, depending on whether they agreed with his opinion, which in turn forced the protagonist to inhale, through a valve, minuscule doses of cyanide or its antidote.
In his quest for humanity, the site goes viral attracting millions, but has the unintended consequences of riling the masses, who take to the streets, some elevating him to the prominence of a messiah, causing the government, fearing a revolution, to attack him via cyber warfare.
What Others Are Saying:
If you delight in fiction that engages the reader in an ethical dilemma, you’ll love this contemporary allegory, which journeys from Wounded Knee to a macabre life and death experiment on the Internet.
— Wendell Wallach author of A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology From Slipping Beyond Our Control.
LONG BEFORE THEY arrested me for cybercrimes and “manifest acts of violence against the government,” I chose to live off the grid, and then, yes, hell yes, one day, I plugged myself back into technology to answer humankind’s most profound question: had we become its master, or its servant for executing a nondescript manifesto against the common “good.”
Surreptitiously, all things digital quashed any semblance of free will. Waves of diffused “ones and zeros” relegated every man, woman, and child to the status of an inextricable component in a closed circuit. Increasingly powerful technology came out of the cloud firing electric missiles that struck the center of humanity’s imagination, wresting the power to choose, to farm or forage, to make peace, to save Earth from a thermal meltdown.
In less than a generation, new lexicons appeared: metadata, fail whale, Google bomb, shock site, troll, electronic medical prescription, facial recognition, crime-seeking drone. So-called friends posted façades on Facebook buying into an illusion of open connectedness, while satellites furtively circled the planet compiling dossiers on law-abiding masses. Multinationals launched an array of robotized medicine, banking, education, and apps that drove our cars. We measured deeds in bits, bytes, and dollars, becoming a dehumanized embodiment, a necessary cog, in all manner of electronic computation and control.
Yes, I railed against an assault aimed squarely at the heart of civilization, and for this, they called me a sociopath and charged me with cybercrimes, punishable by death.
About the Author:
Joseph Carvalko is adjunct Professor of Law, Science and Technology at Quinnipiac University School of Law as well as a patent attorney and electrical engineer (holding ten patents including medical devices and computer/communications systems technology). He is a member of the Community Bioethics Forum, Yale School of Medicine and a member of the Yale Technology and Ethics working group. He has authored papers related to law and technology, and drafted hundreds of patent applications during his career. Formerly he was a research associate in the biomedical engineering field, designing and programming cellular automata computers for artificial intelligence applications in cytological pattern recognition, and afterward worked extensively developing computers and telecommunications.
Death by Internet
Authored by Joseph Carvalko
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
Sunbury Press, Inc.
BISAC: Fiction / Dystopian
Also available on Kindle
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