Beat the Hackers

This had an interesting history. It started life as Beat the Millenium, which I wrote in 1998, in plenty of time to get on the shelves for 1999. But the publishers dragged their feet, and finally, early 1999, decided it wouldn’t have a long enough shelf life. No-one would buy it after 1 Jan 2000. ‘But people still buy 1984,’ I argued. (OK, I’m no George Orwell, but it seemed a fair point.) I was overruled and asked to make the book about computer viruses in general, and not the Y2K in particular.

So I did. Grudgingly!

It’s an exciting story, this one. Heather’s eccentric dad, Ray, struggles to make a living as a freelance computer programmer. Then he discovers that a hugely popular free software program has a deadly bug in it. Come midnight on 31 December 2004, it’s going to deactivate a huge portion of the world’s computers. But no-one believes him – apart from some threatening characters who Heather and Ray have to go on the run to escape from.

And what’s with all the beautiful people who keep appearing?

A different book from my usual ones, with a dark side and a touch of the extra-terrestrial. I was always fond of this story. I love the cover design too.

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