Why have I written Eternal, a tech thriller?

This is such an exciting time for me. I am experiencing a mix of emotions and am filled with enthusiasm, excitement, and curiosity too. This week I have the privilege of introducing my first work of fiction to you. It is entitled ‘Eternal’.

The story is set in the year 2041. It takes place in the future, and it is based on my own personal experience and insight. I think that the future could actually turn out like that. I do hope you will enjoy this exciting futuristic story.

What is the book about?

It is the 25th of November of the year 2041. The technology giant X-Com is launching ground-breaking technology: Eternal. It promises eternal life. Henceforth, everyone will have the good fortune of seeing their children and grandchildren grow up, and life will never be too short to realize one’s dreams. There is no longer any need to say goodbye to our loved ones. Those life events that cause us the deepest sadness will now be a thing of the past thanks to Eternal.

However, there is someone out there who has bad designs on Eternal.

Just after the major launch of Eternal, a self-driving car lunges off the San Mateo Bridge in San Francisco and into the water after taking an abrupt and unexplainable turn to the left. An emergency audio message from the passenger also fails to send. Romy Bell, a colleague of the passenger and a project leader at X-Com, panics and goes on the run; a choice which she will never come to regret. In the space of just a few hours, the very day that should have been the pinnacle of her career turns into a dreadful nightmare filled with fear, victims, and pursuits.

 

Why did I decide to write a technological thriller?

 

There are two main reasons why I wrote Eternal.

 

Let me tell you that, first of all, this is a dream come true for me. Every year, my wife Evi and I draw up a new bucket list of things to do during our lifetime. We always do this in the first week of the new year. We turn this into a wonderfully cozy time with a nice glass of wine and we spend quality time to talk about life. We have been doing this for more than 8 years now. It was actually in 2017 that I first wrote that I wanted to write a thriller. I originally planned to do this when I retired. By giving voice to my dream, the seed was planted. Just one year later, I repeated my wish. When I again mentioned my dream of writing a thriller for the third time in 2019, and when I happened to come across a master class in writing thrillers by Dan Brown on Facebook just a few days later (serendipity?), I decided there and then to already start preparing and I took the online course. Shortly afterwards, I was asked to go to LA to give a lecture at a large travel conference. During a few hours of leisure time there, I went for a long walk through Hollywood and started fantasizing about a possible scenario. A few weeks later my family and I went on holiday to Tenerife. When my wife and our two children suffered food poisoning there for two days, there was no holding me any longer. I put pen to paper. One and a half years later I can now present the result of my efforts. This really is a dream come true.

 

There is another reason why I decided to write this particular story. Eternal has become much more than just ticking off a box on my bucket list. I hope that Eternal will make people reflect upon the consequences of technology. In the last two management books that I wrote, I paid a great deal of attention to the ethical aspects of technology, but this remains an abstract and theoretical way of speaking. I am convinced that fiction can be more powerful in prompting a wider audience to reflect upon this topic and to start a conversation in society about the role of technology in the future. Since man has been present on this planet, we have had a ‘Can we do it?’ mentality about technology. In future decades, we will also need a ‘Should we do it?’ mentality to enable us to make the right choices. For me personally, that has also been a great motivation to write this story.

 

A book needs readers.

My book is now complete and on sale. I have poured my heart and soul into it. Eternal now needs readers. It would be just great if you could buy the book and read it. It would be greater still if you could then discuss it with your friends and family. Eternal could perhaps be a great gift for the holiday season. Perhaps you would like to surprise a good friend with the gift of Eternal.

Just ask yourself: who does not dream of eternal life?

 

(Eternal is currently only available in Dutch. We are making every effort to also make this book available in other languages.)