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Chris Lofts Author
Hello from the Garden of England


Hello from a very wet and windy Garden of England! I've been saying for years that in our little corner of the planet you can hardly discern the difference between the seasons compared to when I was a kid. Of course, it is 2020 and anything is possible. Anyway, enough about the weather.

Helix Genesis by Chris Lofts
Taking a look behind the book.

Helix Genesis is the first in the Nathan Helix Thriller Series. Set in 2039, I describe it as a near-future-techno-thriller. Some of the tech will be familiar, some of it my imagination. What'll be interesting will be to see if my predictions come true. Just to clarify that last point, I mean the tech predictions and not the doomsday pandemic scenario - the one we've got is bad enough.

You can read the first two chapters of Helix Genesis here, assuming you haven't already.  Amongst the many figments of my imagination you'll discover autonomous vehicles (closer than we think), smart weapons and ammunition, holographic adverts that accost you in the street (none spotted yet), computer monitors that appear from desks like head-up displays in fighter aircraft, to name but a few. Helix himself has one or high-tech augmentations build into his prosthetics. Artificial Intelligence (AI) also features and is expanded upon in the second book of the series, about which, more later. If AI interests (or worries) you, check out the following books:

Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark and Novacene by James Lovelock. I'm not into affiliate links and anyway, I know my readers are smart enough to find them in their favourite bookshop or preferred book selling platform.

Believe it or not, I am actually old enough to remember when the first computers appeared in offices. I do sometimes ask myself, how we ever got anything done without them. This was back in the days when a fax machine was considered cutting edge tech!  Did someone ask what's a fax machine? Having worked in IT for more than 20 years, it was fascinating to be close the bleeding edge. We only used to talk about clouds when we were indulging on our favourite British past time of discussing the weather. Now, it's difficult to think of anything that isn't stored and/or processed in the cloud or at least backed up there.

If tech is your thing, you might find the following article from The Washington Post interesting. It shows how tech has changed over the last thirty years. It's a fascinating read and great fun to look back at what we now take for granted. My favourite part is an animation of how long it takes to download an image comparing a dial-up modem and 25 mbps broadband. Be sure also to click the button to hear the sound that a dial up modem makes or used to make.

What's your favourite techno-thriller or sci-fi book? Hit reply and let me know. I'm always interested in discovering new titles and authors.

My favourite techno-thrillers of recent times are the Altered Carbon series by Richard Morgan of which there are two seasons on Netflix. Both the books and the TV adaptations are brilliant. In my opinion the first of the TV seasons is the better of the two. They offer an event deeper dive into what might be possible way out into the future.

Authors love to get reviews for their work, and I'm no different. Here's a recent one for Helix Genesis.

Chris Lofts Author - Helix Genesis review
Work in progress update.

So, what's in the pipeline? I'm currently 50k words into the first draft of the next Nathan Helix thriller. The working title is Helix Nexus. My one-line pitch (also draft) is: It is said that blood is thicker than water, but would you sacrifice the life of the woman you love to save the life of your brother? Hmm. Needs a bit of work, but hey, it's a first draft.

So, I'm 50k words in and aiming for around 90k. At my average daily word count of 1200 words per day, the finishing line is looking at around the first week of November. Helix Genesis was around 91k words when published. In spite of having a word count spreadsheet, I don't set a daily target. Yesterday was an above average day with about 2200 words written. Some days I sit here in front of my computer and don't actually write a single word. Staring out of the window while I work out how to get Helix out of the corner I've painted him into counts as work as far as I'm concerned.

Terry Pratchett used to say that "the first draft is the author telling themselves the story". He was right. Once you have that first draft down, the work really begins with the editing.

Looking ahead, I will be running a competition as I approach completion of Helix Nexus. I'll be giving away a bunch of ebook copies of my first two titles (Helix Genesis and Life Untenable) to those who sign up to be advance readers of Helix Nexus. Watch this space.

That's it for this time around. If you have any questions just hit reply. If you haven't already got your free copy of Helix Genesis the Interviews. Hit the big red button below.

Until next time.


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Chris Lofts - Author

Herne Bay, Kent, United Kingdom

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