All posts by Jonathan Moeller

Dr. No the prototype hacker

I’ve now read the original James Bond novel of DR. NO and seen the film version with Sean Connery. Both were excellent and well worth the reading and the viewing, though I liked the book version of the villainous Dr. No better than the movie version.

It is interesting to note that the book was unusually prescient. In both the book and the movie, Dr. No is able to sabotage the flights of American ballistic missiles by messing with their telemetry via radio waves.

Essentially, that means that Dr. No is a hacker, even though to my knowledge the term “hacker” did not enter circulation until sometime in the 1980s. It is interesting that Fleming used the basic concept of the “hacker” in DR. NO even though the idea of cyberwarfare was just barely in its infancy in the 1950s.

Nowadays, of course, cyberwarfare has become a standard tactic of conflict, and hacks and counter-hacks are a regular feature of the news. It is also interesting how the rise of information technology has changed the James Bond films. When I saw CASINO ROYALE for the first time, I was struck by how much effort Bond expended towards capturing the cell phones of his enemies, since of course the phones are troves of intelligence. For that matter, the main villains of both SKYFALL and SPECTRE were essentially hackers.

In medieval times, the wicked baron, the corrupt bishop, the cheating merchant, and the robber knight were stock villains of the fiction of the era. It seems in the fiction of the 21st century, the sinister hacker lord has taken their place.

Anyway, these are the kinds of things that I think about that lead to the plots for books. 🙂

-JM

 

THE SANCTUARY SPARROW by Ellis Peters


I finished reading THE SANCTUARY SPARROW by Ellis Peters, one of her series about the mystery-solving monk Brother Cadfael, set in medieval England during the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda.

I really enjoyed it! In this book, a desperate singer named Liliwin takes sanctuary at Brother Cadfael’s abbey, pursued by an angry mob that claims he assaulted and robbed a local goldsmith. Liliwin protests his innocence, and Brother Cadfael starts to investigate. Naturally, darker things are afoot than mere robbery.

I always enjoy it when Cadfael teams up with Hugh Beringar, the deputy sheriff of Shropshire. I definitely recommend this book, and the entire series. Always a pleasure to read a really good book from a writer at the top of her game.

-JM

Kalgri and the Voice

I don’t usually watch a lot of TV, but because of all the traveling I’ve had to do this summer, I’ve been watching more than usual.

As readers of GHOST EXILE know, one of the main villains of the series is a creature called the Voice, a malevolent spirit housed in the brain of an equally malevolent assassin named Kalgri. So I was watching TV, and I was highly amused to learn that there is in fact a TV show called “The Voice”.  This “The Voice” has nothing to do with assassins, but is in fact a musical competition show, where singers compete for the approval of judges seated upon red thrones.

It is nothing like Kalgri and the Voice from GHOST EXILE.

Though it is amusing to imagine what would happen if Kalgri appeared on the show. Grim, but nonetheless amusing. 🙂

-JM

more MASK OF SPELLS progress

Now on Chapter 12 of 20 of MASK OF SPELLS!

For all that I’ve been busy in Real Life (nothing bad, just necessary and time-consuming), I’ve made more progress than I expected. Once MASK OF SPELLS is done, it will be amusing to post my daily word count, and you can see just exactly when I got really busy. 🙂

Anyway, if all goes well and if God is willing I should be able to resume my normal writing schedule on 9/26 or so, and hopefully I can have the rough draft of MASK OF SPELLS wrapped up soon after that.

-JM