Published by E-Lit Books on 9-29-2014
Genres: Science Fiction
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A gold medallion is discovered in a lump of coal over a hundred million years old. It contains a code describing human DNA at a time when there were no humans. How could this be? Adam Dove wants to know, but when he starts to investigate, his laboratory is destroyed and a close friend is murdered. Joined by a brilliant biochemist, Linda Garcia, the two are hunted by a Nazi underground bent on retrieving the disk and a mysterious alien presence, which may be more interested in destroying it. Adam and Linda face the most difficult decision of their lives-to leave all they know behind for the chance to discover mankind's origin and purpose.
Interview With Arthur Doweyko
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Algorithm is an epic tale of discovery. A gold medallion found in a lump of coal sets the stage for a hair-raising adventure for two scientists, Adam Dove and Linda Garcia. After finding out it is millions of years old and contains a sequence of symbols resembling a computer program, they are pursued by a Nazi underground bent on retrieving the disk and a mysterious alien presence, which may be more interested in destroying it. Adam and Linda face the most difficult decision of their lives, one which offers the answer to mankind’s purpose on Earth, but at the cost of leaving behind all that they know and love.
What makes your book unique?
The story is hard science fiction. Real facts are used to provide a believable plot involving actual regions of our DNA, instinct, analytical chemistry, forbidden archeology, space travel and the oldest star in our galaxy which is nearly as old as the universe. In addition, in the final denouement, how man appeared on Earth and his purpose are revealed in wholly original origin story.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I’ve always been fascinated by computer programming and the idea of artificial intelligence. Mix that in with too much staring up at the stars and the idea was born. We all want to know what’s really going on, and part of the answer is to understand who and what we are.
Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?
The universe is a lot stranger that we think it is. After all, what can be infinitely large and have a beginning?
How long did it take to write the book?
Although I have written over a hundred scientific papers, articles, book chapters and patents, this work was my first real attempt at a novel. I chose science fiction because it’s just such a great platform to spin tales, especially grand tales. Algorithm was written in fits and starts, and spanned about six years of rewrites and edits.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Besides Adam the chemist and Linda the biochemist who manage a lively partnership through the story, my favorite character was Alpha, a mysterious alien with unclear loyalties.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I start with an over-arching theme, whose ending may be somewhat vague. The characters and situations take over the writing, even though I try to steer them in a general direction. I find that this technique leads to surprise twists and turns, that even I did not expect.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I’m eager to add to the story. The epic described can be considered as the beginning of a tale encompassing many thousands of years.
How did you come up with the cover?
A few discussions with my publisher, E-Lit Books and the artist, Martin Blanco, led to the final cover design.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first short stories in high school, and have been writing ever since. The decision to pursue a career in science delayed my entry into the world of creative writing until most recently.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
A short story wherein a boy sneaks into a wax museum after hours, is chased by some dark figures, escapes into an adjacent field, and collapses into a pile of cracked and moldering wax.
Hey, it was my first story.
What is your favorite genre, and why?
Science fiction is hard to beat. It provides a boundless palette – worlds and characters without limit to tell the story of us.
Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?
Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama, Asimov’s robot tales, Heinlein’s citizens of the world, Stanislav Lem’s unlimited wit and Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld. Of course, there are many others, each of which touch upon a vision of humanity which speaks to a larger quest, that is, what and who we are.
What are you working on next?
I’ve just finished The Guardian Alien Conspiracy – What if Guardian Angels really existed but they weren’t really angels? What if one fell in love with a human? And what if, together, they stood up to the greatest conspiracy ever to face humankind?
I’m currently working on Henry The Last – A story of the last human being on Earth. Henry is a Lakota Sioux who, in 2150, is an android with a human brain and one of the few to survive a world-wide deadly virus. When he discovers that he will be upgraded to a fully artificial brain, the adventure begins.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Writing is both an inborn talent and a learned craft. We all have some combination of those two traits. To be successful, a writer must be willing to deal with criticism and rejection. The single most useful advice I can give is to persevere. Be confident in your writing, learn from critiques of your work, and submit the work without fear of rejection. Eventually you will succeed.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
It is difficult to find the time to write while raising a family, or even just working full time. In those cases, one must carve out a chunk of time that everyone understands is your private time. That’s just a question of strategy and discipline. In my case, I’ve recently retired and now work part-time teaching chemistry. The other, more significant part-time is devoted to writing.