English Roman Thriller

Stephen King – Cell

Mobiltelefon_(c)_Thorsten Freyer/PIXELIO

It takes only 12 pages to get that this is going to be an apocalypse in the tradition of Kings classic „The Stand“ (which I really should read again, it must be 15 years ago). Enhanced with the current fear of biological mass destruction weapons, terrorism and chaos this virus doesn’t only kill people, it makes them killing zombies. The survivors get to call what happened „The Pulse“, but they can only speculate, what happened to all the people carrying cellphones when the incident took place.

Survivors Clay and Tom met directly after the pulse occured and stay together nearly until the end. Clay worries about his wife Sharon and his son Johnny while Tom only has his cat left which he is resilient to leave alone. They take care for young Alice and at a later stage for the boy Jordan who is a computer geek and seems to understand much more about the technical implications of the pulse.

„Nobody should have answered it“, Clay said. „We all would have been better off.“
„Ah, but who can resist a ringing phone“, Tom asked. „And there goes your ballgame.“
„Thus spake fuckin Zarathustra“, Clay said. Alice laughed until she cried.

In the end Clay finds his son Johnny. He didn’t get the original pulse but got into the conversion measures at a later stage. In the end Clay has to take the most difficult decision of his life.

A story about how humans react in difficult situations, how you can get together with people formerly unknown and stick with them in times of horror and fear. Stephen King himself doesn’t carry a cellphone.

English Sachbuch

Twyla Tharp – The Creative Habit


Most people can’t recall much more than three notes in any context. Think about the last lecture you heard or business meeting you attended or book you had to read. How many of the important take-away points could you recall if you didn’t memoralize them in writing?

Twyla Tharp is a well-known choreographer in America, one of her recent works „Movin’ out“ (a dance evening based on songs by Billy Joel) was a veritable success on Broadway. Choreography might not be a discipline many of us have experience with but Twyla Tharps creativity tips work throughout all possible disciplines.

All I know for sure is that they are trapped in a the box. But do so with the faith that nothing is lost, that you haven’t put it in all this effort for naught. Everything you’ve done is in the box. You can always come back to it.

This box system might not be usable for all of us, we don’t have enough space to store lots of boxes for all projects. Also many of us will store a lot of the material digitally. We are trying to get rid of pyhsical media like CDs or DVDs and it’s just not possible to put everything in a box. The good thing with that is, that you don’t need a lot of space for digital boxes, you might also store your notes for every project in a Yojimbo folder (or any other program of your choice). And you can always access your material for later reference, which is even easier, if you’ve named and archived it digitally.

Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.

All of us sometimes get stuck in our projects, you can’t go forward with constant speed all the time. Your passion and a good system will help you get out of your blockades. Twyla Tharp knows her stuff and is giving practical tips for everybody in the creative business. Creativity is not only talent, it’s also a habit you can learn and use every day of your life.

English Krimi Thriller

Daniel Suarez – Daemon


Deutsche Zusammenfassung unten / For German summary scroll down

Soon he reached a circular chamber with a beam of sunlight shining down from a hole in the ceiling, illuminating a section of the wall. It appeared to be the basement of a shattered tower. Several barred windows ringed the walls in the shadows. It was a dead end.

Thanks goes to my brother for turning my attention to this great thriller. It’s as enthralling as frightful especially if you know, that most of the technologies described already exist.

The death of the computer game guru Matthew Sobol is followed by some strange incidents that makes the police first try to shut down the servers of his enterprise Cyberstorm. Next they try to enter his house to shut down the servers to kill the so-called „Daemon“, that Sobol has installed to take over world domination. Many people lose their lives until they find out that the Daemon lives in the internet and cannot be shut off.

FBI: „Just shut down the internet.“
The others gave him a patronizing look.
FBI: „You guys built the damned thing. Why can’t you turn it off?“
NSA: „Let’s stick to reasonable suggestions, shall we?“
FBI: „I don’t mean for a long time – just for a second.“
DARPA: „The Internet is not a single system. It consists of hundreds of millions of individual computer systems linked with a common protocol. No one controls it entirely. It can’t be shut down. And even if you could shut it down, the Daemon would just come back when you turned it back on.“

In the background the Daemon recrutes his subjects in Sobols computer games „Over the Rhine“ and „The Gate“. Only the best players find the back doors and beat the challenges Sobol has installed for them. One of them is Brian Gragg, former thief of identities on the internet, who know becomes one of the Daemon executives and as such a nightmare to the authorities who fight the Daemon. Of course their own task force gets infiltrated by the Daemon, it seems to be everywhere.

Suarez has no qualms to let his characters die and also come back to life if they haven’t fully served their purpose. Fortunately the second part Freedom TM is already available and I’m looking forward to learn how the story continues for Jon Ross and Natalie Philips.

Deutsche Zusammenfassung: Durch meinen Bruder kam ich zu diesem grandiosen Thriller, der sich mit den beängstigenden Tatsachen der uns umgebenden Technologien auseinandersetzt. Vieles, das in diesem Buch beschrieben wird, existiert tatsächlich bereits, wenn auch oft im Verborgenen.
Der Tod des Computerspielgurus Matthew Sobol setzt einige verdächtige Vorgänge in Gang, was dazu führt, dass die Polizei zuerst versucht, die Server seiner Firma Cyberstorm zu stoppen. Als die Polizei versucht, in sein Haus einzudringen und die dortigen Server zu stoppen, verlieren viele Menschen ihr Leben, bevor sie herausfinden, dass der Daemon im Internet lebt und nicht durch simples Herunterfahren eines Servers gestoppt werden kann.
Der Daemon rekrutiert seine Gefolgsleute vorerst durch Hintertüren in Sobols Computerspielen „Over the Rhine“ und „The Gate“. Nur die Besten bestehen die Herausforderungen. Einer von ihnen ist Brian Gragg, Identitätsdieb und jetzt einer der Führer des Daemon-Imperiums. Natürlich wird auch die Task Force des FBI vom Daemon infiltriert, er ist überall.
Suarez hat keine Skrupel, seine Figuren sterben und auch wiederauferstehen zu lassen, wenn sie ihren Zweck noch nicht vollständig erfüllt haben. Zum Glück ist der zweite Teil Freedom TM bereits erhältlich und ich bin bereits gespannt auf diese Fortsetzung.