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Kill Decision (novel)

Chat with Daniel Suarez about his book. Hosted by Spocko.

“Kill Decision” is a military term for the sanction to use lethal force. For all of human history, kill decisions have been in human hands—but that’s about to change.

It’s no secret that America relies on remotely piloted drones to target adversaries overseas. But fifty other nations are developing drones of their own, and the next generation will be much scarier: autonomous machines that acquire and destroy targets without direct human intervention.

In KILL DECISION, Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist whose research focuses on African weaver ants—one of the most organized and aggressive species on Earth. The chemical-based communication of weaver ants allows vast colonies to act as a single, collective intelligence, killing anything that enters their territory. What McKinney doesn’t know is that her research has been stolen by unknown forces who have co-opted her software models to power an army of autonomous swarming machines—and recent attacks on the U.S. homeland give some indication where that swarm might be released.

Saved from a drone attack herself by a secretive Special Ops soldier known as Odin, McKinney is suddenly propelled into a war she never dreamed existed. Together, McKinney and Odin must slow the spread of these swarming weapons long enough for the world to recognize their destructive power—and stay alive long enough to discover who is behind them.

McKinney knows the stakes go far beyond her own fate. For thousands of years the ‘kill decision’ in war has been in human hands, and offloading that responsibility to mass-produced, insect-like machines would bring unintended, possibly irreversible, consequences for all humanity.

DANIEL SUAREZ is the author of the New York Times bestseller Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, he has designed and developed mission-critical software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. With a lifelong interest in both IT systems and creative writing, his high-tech and Sci-Fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change.

Daniel is a past speaker at TED Global, MIT Media Lab, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon — among many others. Self-taught in software development, he holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Delaware. An avid PC and console gamer, his own world-building skills were bolstered through years as a pen & paper role-playing game moderator. He lives in Los Angeles, California. (TheDaemon.com)