Tuesday, November 11, 2014

20 Books: Daemon (2006) and Freedom™ (2010), Daniel Suarez

This is part of a sub-series of postings based on the "20 Books Cybersecurity Professionals Should Read Now".

This time I look at a couple of novels by Daniel Suarez, Daemon (2006) and its sequel Freedom™ (2010).  I am a fan of "techno thrillers", and these qualify.  Unlike many techno thrillers, the author knows his techno.  That part is very realistic, but is a little fanciful as well.  And the books are fast moving.

The books tie closely together, so I would recommend having both on hand.  The plot of Daemon centers around a distributed computer program, or daemon, created by a now dead, but brilliant, game programmer.  He created this program to push society in a new direction, and not in a nice way.  The program recruits people to do its bidding.  And it not always nice things, either.  Think of the movie Eagle Eye, but taken to an extreme. For the cybersecurity professional, it's seeing how the program is able to infiltrate systems and control them to its own ends that is the most interesting.  One character is even framed for a crime based on evidence planted by the program going back several months.

Like many techno thrillers, we are introduced to an array of characters on both sides of the story, good and bad.  But they don't all come into the picture from the beginning, and not all of them come out at the end.

Now, I do have to say I don't agree with some of the underlying ideas the author presents as to the reason for this Daemon.  His view of people and civilization doesn't match mine.  I don't buy into the ideas of Naomi Klein.

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