The Infinity Program
Richard H. Hardy, Author
Publisher: Camel Press (March 23, 2014)
Category: Science Fiction, Techno-Thriller, Thriller for the Digital Age
Available in print and ebook
Jon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.
Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways–Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.
Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing a new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his company’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.
Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.
Buy The Infinity Program:
Praise for The Infinity Program:
“I am not a hater of technobabble. I’m perfectly happy to have my science fiction rely on information that is either completely fictional or completely over my head in technical terminology. As long as the story is good, I can live with not understanding every nit and tiddle along the way. Hey, I grew up watching Star Trek re-runs – it’s just how I roll.
I plowed through The Infinity Program, thoroughly enjoying it. It’s not so different from reading Dan Brown or Robert Ludlum. I can happily give The Infinity Program 4 stars out of 5 for being jubilant, self-indulgent mind candy.”–S. Millinocket, Reader’s Lane
“This book is a high technology science fiction story, and it was surprisingly easy for me to follow. I am not a high tech kind of girl, yet I was able to move right along with the story for the most part, even as I lack any knowledge of computers and programming. The main character Jon was not totally familiar with the programming lingo either, so as dialog with him progressed, I was able to learn what I needed to know and never once did I feel overwhelmed with jargon.
When it comes right down to it, I was highly impressed with the storyline and the way everything played out. With ups and downs, a touch of romance, and a bunch of pig headed supporting characters, The Infinity Program by Richard H. Hardy is sure to please the high tech science fiction readers as well as the readers who are not so technically savvy. In general, this novel was absolutely fantastic! I am more than ready to see what Hardy comes up with next.”–Jennifer Hass, BC (blogcritics)
“Richard H. Hardy pens an exciting tale about an underground extraterrestrial computer with clairvoyant powers, but it’s the humans it’s manipulating who end up stealing the spotlight. Because what makes this story unique is that Hardy has inside knowledge about how technology companies operate, because he worked for one, and the office politics he infuses into the core of his novel definitely ring true to life. The long hours, the tight deadlines, the demanding clients – all combine to create an implied sense of urgency.
Hardy is smart to use a sci-fi hook in order to discuss these crucial cultural issues. He draws readers in with an otherworldly premise that promises to entertain, while enlightening them about the challenges that people face in everyday life that are no less extraordinary or important than a super intelligent species looking to take over the earth. He mixes the mundane with the fantastical to maximum effect, causing readers to think with their minds and their hearts. Framed in this context, prejudice and intolerance are just as frightening as getting encapsulated in gelatinous slime or being resurrected by nanobots.”-Tribute Book Reviews
It is my pleasure to feature Richard H. Hardy, author of The Infinity Program, on Room With Books.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Since I retired, I have had the good fortune to spend my time doing what I want to do. Writing is at the center of my activities. I also enjoy reading. I tend to get on “kicks” when I read. Lately, I’ve been on a math and physics spree. I’m also a music enthusiast and spend time playing the saxophone, the bass clarinet and the digital piano. I love listening to music too, especially the music of Wayne Shorter, Lee Konitz, and Chris Potter.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and The Dharma Bums when I was 14. While I enjoyed these books at the time, I think in retrospect they had a bad influence on me. As a result of reading them I came to associate writing with a very wild and undisciplined lifestyle. Fortunately I finally realized that writing is about discipline, honesty, dedication and hard work and not about the “High Life”.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The process was very painful and unpleasant. I contacted dozens of agents and dozens of publishers. Most of them didn’t even respond to my queries. I was amazed to discover that no one would so much as take a look at my book. I became so discouraged that I just let manuscript gather dust for over six months. Finally, I decided I still believed in the book. At that point, I targeted independent publishers. I queried three different independents, including Camel Press. Camel Press accepted the book on 9/11/2012. My own special 9/11 date, but a happy one!
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I think I would choose to be a Clairvoyant.
What was your first job?
After I finished college, my first job was filling orders at a book wholesaling company in Boston. I was fast on my feet, so I could fill orders very quickly. I had plenty of time to hide in the back and read. For nearly four years I read about a book a day at work. Then I would go home and write, and then do some more reading!
What types of books do you write?
At the moment I am concentrating on Techno-Thrillers with a strong science fiction element.
Who’s your main audience?
This is a difficult question! I would say off the top, young people of all ages—men and women who like to stretch their minds and imaginations around interesting ideas and concepts.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
My favorite character is the hero of the novel I am working on now. His name is Reuben Jefferson and he is a biracial theoretical physicist. He is a man who is deeply conflicted about his place in the world. He is the product of two very different cultures and is not really comfortable in either one. I felt a huge resonance with his character as he developed. Suddenly I realized I was writing about myself. While I am not biracial, I was born in the UK and came to America at age four. Two different cultural heritages (British & American) can really complicate the quest for identity.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I like to write in the morning between eight and noon. I’m a morning person and that is my best time.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
I definitely use my own experiences. But nothing is ever 100% true to what happened to me. Characters, for example, are often composites, made up of different qualities in people I have known, plus usually something of myself.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
Titles have always come very hard for me. The title of my book actually came out of the blue. My lead character used the phrase “Infinity Program” in the final section of the book. As soon as I wrote that phrase, I realized I had my title.
Pick one profession you would choose if you were not an author. Why?
If I had not pursued writing, I would have pursued music. Maybe in my next life I will be a jazz musician! I love jazz. Improvisation is such an amazingly creative activity.
What are you currently working on?
My current project is tentatively titled The Omega Rapture. It is about an experiment at a particle accelerator facility that goes awry and has catastrophic consequences.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? I’m ashamed to say, I’m a plain vanilla kind of guy!
Night owl, or early bird? I’m definitely an early bird. I’m often up by 5 am.
Red, or white wine?I used to drink too much of both, but now I drink neither. I no longer drink anything alcoholic.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? I once rode on a roller coaster ten times in a row in an effort to conquer the fear that I experienced on the ride. I didn’t succeed and as a result have never been on a roller coaster again. If canoeing counts as a water ride, I’ll choose that every time.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? While I know how to swim, I’ve never enjoyed swimming. I’m one of these people who can’t even float. If it’s more than ankle deep, I stay away from it!
Walking or fitness club? I really enjoy walking. I have my best book ideas when I am out for a stroll.
Any last words? I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog!
Thank you, Richard, for your time. I know time is a great commodity during a tour and I appreciate your willingness to let our readers get to know you better!
About Richard H. Hardy:
I was born at home in Glasgow, Scotland during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day I was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where we lived. I guess I entered the world with a big adrenalin rush.
My family later moved to England and then on to America. I learned quickly what it was like to be a stranger in a strange land. Like so many immigrants I developed the reflexive habit of stepping back and watching, looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope. All in all, it was a great beginning for someone who would become a writer.
I followed a path typical of so many writers. After college I bounced through a series of temporary jobs as I traveled around the country. I wasn’t interested in a career; all I wanted was to write. I produced dozens of short stories and at least a half dozen botched attempts at novels. Finally, I met a wonderful woman who became my wife. I got a job driving a library van and spent much of my free time writing short stories and working on a novel. When I couldn’t sell my novel, I took a long look at myself. I had no career and no prospects. I decided it was time to turn things around.
My wife and I moved to New Hampshire and I got an entry level job at a software company. I was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up writing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years in technical writing I was promoted to the programming department and ended up the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the US and Canada.
I started writing again when I retired. I decided to write the kind of book that I would enjoy reading — a book that was entertaining and had a strong story, clear writing, interesting characters, and unexpected twists. The title of this book is The Infinity Program. It was published on April 1, 2014 by the Camel Press. The book is about a 60 million year old computer system, a world class systems programmer by the name of Harry Sale, and an alien program that might just change the world forever.