First, I want to say thanks to Elizabeth for giving me a spot on her blog for the day. I appreciate her letting me get the word out about myself and my book. Second, let me introduce myself. I’m Jarrett Rush, and I promise, if you ever met me, you’d walk away thinking I’m a positive, nice guy.
If the only thing you know about me, though, is what you read in my book, then your picture of me may not be so sunny. My book, Chasing Filthy Lucre, is set in a place called New Eden. It’s a dark world. The government has fallen a few years before we enter. There are no police. There’s no military. It’s every man for himself. The economy is sputtering and most people make a living performing odd jobs.
There is one company that’s trying to make a go of it by filling the void that was left when the government fell. The company, RomaCorp, makes everything. Food, electronics, clothing. It’s even getting into the business of providing essential services, like electricity. A few of the remaining independent shop owners are trying to rise up against Roma, but Roma is willing to go to any lengths to make sure no one succeeds.
Add to this, widespread data addiction due to a new technology that everyone refers to as “The Wire” — trust me, it makes sense in the story — and you have a book that takes a not-so-pleasant look at the future. It’s an exciting book that moves quick and has a satisfying ending, but its setting is definitely dark. But, I promise you, I’m not the book I wrote. I’m actually optimistic about where we are headed.
Let me explain my reasons.
As I get older, I think more and more about my childhood and it how it seemed like nothing could get better. I had video games in astonishing 8-bit glory. I had cars that, with a few twists of the wrist, became robots. I had a Radio Shack TRS-80 computer that, after three hours of typing in line after line of code, would play the most astonishing game of Pong. And I could save that astonishing game of Pong on a special cassette tape recorder that we plugged into the side of the keyboard/CPU. Life couldn’t get better. That had to be the ultimate in technology.
But it wasn’t, not by a long shot. Today, I pull a phone out of my pocket that I can use to snap a picture by touching the screen and then post it to the Internet. Wait. My phone is in my pocket? The young me would be blown away. It’s not just in my pocket, but it’s a phone with no external antenna that I can use anywhere. And it has a camera that doesn’t have a shutter or need film. And it can access the Internet. I don’t even want to think about what the young me would think about the Internet.
I also think that people are, by their nature, good. I think that they will, more often than not, do the right thing. I think that they will have these crazy new technologies that we can’t even imagine, and they will use them for good. Will all people do that? Of course not, but I believe most will. It’s that born-in goodness that motivates the main character in Chasing Filthy Lucre, Weber Rexall. He wants to be a selfish person and look out for only himself, but, when pushed into a corner, he fights because he knows it’s the right thing to do. He doesn’t hesitate. And I think that, in the end, it’s what most of us would do. We’d see a wrong and we’d fight to make it right.
That’s why, even if you wouldn’t necessarily get it from reading my book, I’m positive a guy who’s excited about where we are headed.