Can’t keep a good hacker down, Scott and Sonia are back! Check out the cover reveal for VARIABLE CURRENT by Rose Sinclair & Alexandra Tauber. Variable Current is the second novel of the .Exe duology that started with HELLO WORLD.
Ready to see the newest beauty for this series?!
Variable Current Cover Reveal launch!
You can pre-order today and it will be automatically delivered to you on October 26th, 2021!
The Hello World Discussion Questions are here! GreatAce.Club is our sister book club. It mostly reads asexual books by asexual authors for asexual readers, but has expanded to read really whatever our host Amy wants. Because great books are great books and aces can do whatever they please. April’s book was Hello World, the first in the .Exe series!
Brew up that cup of coffee because it’s discussion time!
Suggested Reading Schedule:
Week One – Prologue through Chapter 4
Week Two – Chapters 5-11
Week Three – Chapters 12-19
Week Four – Chapters 20-26
Week Five: Chapter 27 through Epilogue
Hello World Week One Discussion Questions
Hello World deals a lot with technology, data, and what it means to be a person living with that. What do you think about the world we are currently living in?
What do you think is more important, convenience or privacy? How much privacy should society be willing to give up to feel safe? To have information and necessities at their fingertips?
It’s a common trope in media for a character to be motivated to save a loved one. How do you predict Scott will undertake this going forward?
Like all good techy books, Hello World takes pieces of technology that already exist and create logical extensions from them. What technology can you see existing now or in the near future that we’ve experienced in these first few chapters?
We are already getting a sense of what Scott and Sonia’s relationship will be. What can you pick up on how they will befriend each other, or more? What are your predictions about their relationship?
What sort of qualities do you think UltSyn wants for its HIDs?
Besides college job fairs, where do you think UltSyn looks for candidates?
Hello World Week Two Discussion Questions
Have I mentioned recently that I love Scott? Because I love Scott. Now that we are getting into the thick of things, there is so much more to discuss, especially as we start to see more discussion about Scott’s asexuality. Without further ado, let’s read!
As we begin to see more asexual characters in media (see: FuckYeahAsexual’s Character Database or even the Goodreads List), and as asexuality becomes seen more in the mainstream, creators may begin to think about how to incorporate asexual characters into their work. What do you think about how Scott talks about his sexual attraction? Does it match with your own feelings as being ace?
Sinclair and Tauber have so much deliberate representation in Hello World. How many casual LGBT+ characters can you pick up on? Is this something you think is going to continue in more mainstream books? Out of the characters mentioned in this section, is there anyone you want to learn more about? Anyone you want to see in future books?
HIDs are pieces of technology, but they are also people. This is definitely something that the people fighting against UltSyn have to deal with. Do you think that Scott or Terry or Jesse feel the same way about Sonia? What do you think about the morality of HIDs in general? If UltSyn is using them for nefarious purposes, what is the best way to fight back?
Discuss Scott’s choice to sell Sonia. Did it make sense at the time? What did Jesse get out of it besides money? Do you think Jesse is a double agent, or just in it for whoever pays more?
Scott almost immediately regrets his actions. What does this tell you about his character?
Sinclair and Tauber do a lot to humanize their characters, like Scott “pretending” to get a text. How does this make the book more relatable? When’s a time you’ve done something similar?
How many people in Hello World are “just doing their jobs” despite basically experimenting on other human beings? How is a reflection of the real world?
We finally get our first Sonia chapter! What do we learn about her from her actions in this chapter?
How is their relationship changing? What predictions do you have about them?
In between the fast paced action, Sinclair and Tauber insert moments of humanity, like shopping in Paris. How does that help us associate with the characters more? What can we learn about them in these moments of relative quiet?
What technology in this section have you seen happening in real life? What technology would you like to see?
What predictions do you have about the party? What are you hoping will happen?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 3
We left off last week with Scott and Sonia preparing to go to the fancy UltSyn party! What do you think they’re going to find there? Let’s read on to find out!
What do you think Scott found in the office?
Do you think all of Scott’s hijinks might spur UltSyn to tighten their security? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia in the future?
Could Scott’s background and experience with UltSyn and HIDs affect how he sees Sonia? Is seeing her as a person first different from how others would see and therefore treat her? Do you think Sonia is different from other HIDs? How could Scott’s treatment help her as well?
In what ways do Sinclair and Tauber use real life security hacks in Hello World? Which things stand out to you as something real people or companies should be concerned about?
After seeing this second HID, does to confirm any belief that Sonia is different? What do you think happened to make her different? What struggles might Scott have if this is how most HIDs behave?
It is easy to see that in universe, HIDs are not considered entirely human. Does this track with how real life humans act about each other? How might incorporating people and technology change society’s view of them?
What have we learned about both Scott and Sonia so far, using the humanizing sections of the book? How has this changed from the beginning of the book?
How does what UltSyn does match up with real world for-profit health care companies?
What do we learn about Scott’s motivations in this section?
Is Scott and Sonia’s relationship fair? Why or why not?
What might Sonia find in her search for her family?
We are ending on quite the cliffhanger! What predictions do you have about what will happen in Denmark?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 4
Ready to pick up in Denmark? Who has time for an intro when there’s cliffhangers to get through!
How does Scott use his understanding of Sonia to track her? How does this compare to real life tracking and how could UltSyn also use this knowledge?
Do you think UltSyn sends people after Sonia who have knowledge of her life before being an HID? Would that help them or hinder them?
What are some possible meanings of Sonia’s tattoo?
Does one person ever have an obligation or right to withhold information about another from that person? Would you want to know bad information about your past or prefer to leave it there?
Is Sonia/Lydia’s reaction to losing her family appropriate? How might someone dealing with grief react to the promise of losing their memories?
What implications does Sonia’s background raise about HIDs? About UltSyn?
”Sometimes, one act of kindness can change everything.” How does this quote really describe Scott?
At this point and after having several Sonia chapters, how is she different from other HIDs? What might this do to Scott’s expectations about his sister?
What were your thoughts and emotions as the scene with Victoria played out? Should Scott or Sonia have seen this coming? What could they have done to prevent it?
How does almost losing someone we love bring out our feelings? How do we see that in Sonia taking care of Scott?
How much of what Scott is going through is related to his physical wound, shock, and the mental toll of Victoria? What do you think will help him the most?
What do we learn about Sonia with her actions while Scott is hurt? Is what she did brave, foolish, or some combination?
What do you think would help get Scott out of his despair? Is it possible that even knowing it would be hard, he didn’t realize how hard it would be? Is he too close to this situation?
What do we learn about the HID program and UltSyn from Sonia and Victoria talking?
Could the first step of HID deprogramming be developing sarcasm? 2/2 HIDs say yes!
We get an opportunity to see more of Scott’s asexuality. How do you relate to this?
We are leaving this section off in one of the humanizing areas. What are we learning about Scott and Sonia? Where could their relationship be going?
What predictions do you have for the end of the book? What role will Victoria and Sonia play in working against UltSyn? Scott got his sister back; now what?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 5
Amy here again, I’ve fully learned how to hijack the publisher’s accounts after reading Hello World! 😉 You know the posts that are like “when everything is wrapped up but there’s still a lot of pages left”? Am I the only one feeling that way about Hello World? If we stop here, they can all just live happily ever after, right? Just kidding! Let’s read on to see how Scott’s motivations might change and how Victoria will play a part in that!
Scott throughout the book very much claims to work on his own and to be in it for himself; but is he really? If his actions cause consequences that expose UltSyn, does that mean he did something selfless, even if he didn’t mean to? How much of his actions are actually selfish?
How does having Victoria back change him? How does it change Sonia?
We get to learn more about Terry and his crew in the last part of the book. Who are you hoping to see again in the sequel? What benefits are there in having a secure home base? How can it also be a liability?
How many people in UltSyn do you think know about the system? How could the people of UltSyn be exploiting the system for their own advancement? How do people in real life do that?
How does needing to take down a computer system change the narrative of taking UltSyn down? How does this change the central conflict of the series?
Scott finally tells someone he’s asexual in this final section. How does this confirm the behavior and thoughts we’ve already seen? How does his description match or not match with your experiences?
What does Sonia’s reaction say about her?
What are some benefits of Scott being part of a group now? What might be some drawbacks?
How is the system different than what they expected?
Do Scott and Victoria get a happily ever after? What does coming home mean to both of them? To their parents?
How could UltSyn exploit this? How motivated do you think they are to do so?
Share your favorite parts of the book; what did you love the most? What do you hope to see in the sequel? Do you have any favorite quotes or characters? We’d love to see them here or in the #GreatAceClub tag!
Did you see any overarching themes or tones you found while reading?
What does the teaser chapter hint at in the next book? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia?
Can we peer pressure Art Over Chaos Publishing (wait a second…) to release the next book sooner? (Warning: Amy’s peer pressure is coming from inside the house!!!) Be sure to sign up for the newsletter at GreatAce.Club to be the first to see what May’s read is!
20 Minutes Into The Future trope has us looking at technology and what it can hold for our futures.
It’s not super often I get to you write you to in first person about myself. But when it comes to our debut novel I feel as if it’s a most. Hello World was originally released just under four years ago. The original idea for this post was going to be about how futuristic technology that Scott used to run around menacing corporate tech giants in the book was now being sold mass market.
And in some ways that is true. Most notably is Amazon’s Echo Loop. Their design is exactly how I pictured Scott’s ace smart ring. And what is his own AI, Hallie, if not a private non-commercial version of Alexa that helps you do crime?
But the nature of the 20 minutes into the future trope isn’t about catching up. As Mystery Science Theater’s Tom Servo says, “Fifty years from now it’ll be three years from now”. Unlike other types of science fiction that predicted flying cards in the year 2000. Stories set 20 minutes into the future don’t predict. They tell you something that is already happening, or easily could be behind the scenes.
Turns out Hello World is as relevant as ever. A story about the interplay between technology and identity.
Now days, ‘being yourself’ is even more commercialized. You are your brand. If possible a corporations would kill off the idea of anonymous. And more often than not, it’s not some evil company directly enforcing that change. It’s us. It’s our digital interactions, self policing. Behavior adjustments we make in order to get more likes, just so we can be connected with others.
People like to think of that all being run by an algorithm. But it’s all from people in one way, shape, or form. The human element is the very thing that companies are unable to fully remove.
Hello World is a story about the actions of individuals. And together what changes the world.
A recent example of ‘internet culture’ banding together to change global markets is Wall Street Bets reddit’s interest in Game Stop stock. Their power was in the camaraderie within those memes that allowed them to group together. Without the digital connection among individuals outnumbering the normal rules of the game they’d be less hedge funds going bankrupt today.
If anything Hello World is even more important today than it had been yeas ago, because every day our digital shadow grows. Our lexicon of internet culture grows and just becomes culture. Especially during covid times where we are using technology to safety stay part, and safely connect, and hopefully continue to subvert those withholding freedom.
My new novel is here to help you celebrate in all of its chaotic bi-energy. You can grab this VR adventure in ebook and paperback for the first time today!!
If you like Warcross, Ready Player One, or simply thought Assassin’s Creed needed more LGBTQ+ rep, this is the book for you. In it we explore and comment on fandoms and the things they taught me about the importance of seeing yourself in a video game. If the book seems like your type of thing, I hope you check it out!