Going Dark (novel)

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Going Dark is a novel krozruch worked on over the summer of 2016. It began as a story in the collection The Max Brod of Virginia and soon expanded in scope. The original synopsis of Going Dark, which was originally developed under the alternative working title, The Off The Rails Girls, first committed to the Radical Transparency repo in Samos, Greece, where he had taken a typewriter to write it during the day, reads:

When Cody quits a law degree at Berkeley to travel to Europe for sex reassignment surgery, she makes no great plans for the direction her new life will take her. She first discovers bitcoin, the blockchain, and the anonymous network Tor as a means of distracting herself from her own paralysing anxiety and what she sees as the rise of fascist demagoguery at home. Soon, though, these technologies lead her towards opportunities, and dangers, she could never have guessed.

The novel was being developed in a period of intensive research into blockchain technologies, data mining, and social networks, a period marked by growing ideological divisions, glass wall Overton windows and the de facto algorithmic enclosure and divide and rule of civil society. krozruch had been trying to write a draft Wikipedia page on former "global resilience guru" and born-again "humanitarian technocrat", Vinay Gupta in an attempt to displace the expanding demands of his fictional writing impulse towards the end of the school year 2015-16 when he was too oversubscribed to write. His research into Ethereum led him to consider the promise and the dangers of a world of smart contracts.

In Berlin, Cody becomes Collette and, as she recovers from her operation and begins to get her life on track, finds herself obsessing over blockchain technologies and smart contracts. Writing and talking about her experiences on-line in the long-promised updates for some of the supporters of her crowdfund campaign, she begins to receive cryptocurrency donations from a secretive philanthropic organisation. When she writes a speculative piece about the dangers of smart contracts, demonstrating that the niche game of speculating on celebrity deaths could, with a little ingenuity involving the parsing of news reports and obituaries, be used to crowdfund assassinations, she finds herself without well-resourced allies in the centre of high stakes power games.

The novel stalled for want of time and mental resources in the autumn of 2015. It was followed, for a time, by the novella Rafting the Tigris which also was to stall before krozruch quit teaching to give himself to writing full time. Both involved significant difficulties involving the evolving situation of global politics. The former was also affected by the volatile (here, philosophical) projections of the dispositions of crypto currencies.