New cyberpunk novel set in near-future Oakland

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Eliot Peper
Eliot PeperMaker@eliotpeper · author
I'm the author of Cumulus and I'd be happy to field questions from the PH community. Cumulus takes place in a near-future where economic inequality and persistent surveillance push Oakland to the brink of civil war. It's a dark, gritty, fast-paced story packed with political intrigue, world-changing technology, and questionable salvation. I’m humbled that some esteemed folks like Brad Feld, Tim O'Reilly, Andrew Keen, Lucas Carlson, Josh Anon, Cyrus Farivar, and Vikram Babu have said nice things about it. I’m really proud of how Cumulus came together. I moved back to Oakland in 2013. It was the city of my birth and where I grew up. Seeing how Oakland has evolved since the ’80s is at once inspiring and harrowing. Cumulus is a kind of twisted love letter to my favorite city in the Bay Area. Over the course of the past few years, we’ve bonded with many of our incredible neighbors, sated our appetites at countless ethnic food joints, had a triple homicide on our block, installed a free little library for our community, hiked in beautiful Redwood Park, and watched a protest with thousands of people and hundreds trailing police vehicles terminate at the end of our street. We love the birdsong but hate the gunshots. Oakland feels like a special point of confluence for so many critical social issues: the implications of the growing wealth gap in American society, the extraordinary promise of new technologies and diverse world views, our failure to solve persistent social problems like poverty, racism, and homelessness, and the power of fierce, pragmatic optimism. Writing Cumulus allowed me to explore my enthusiasm for my hometown and my fascination with how new tools like the internet are reshaping our lives in so many ways, big and small. Through years of working with startups and venture capital investors, I’ve had the privilege of seeing how some new technologies come to be and getting to know a few of the people who build and popularize them. I’ve never been more excited about the promise of human ingenuity and there’s no other time in history when I’d rather live. That said, these new developments are changing our social fabric, the texture of our personal lives, and even our geopolitics. Such change is always painful. Times like these require open-mindedness, compassion, critical thinking, resourcefulness, and creativity. I don’t have the answers but I hope that this story might contribute a few questions. I will be donating the first six months of proceeds from Cumulus to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Chapter 510. The Electronic Frontier Foundation fights tirelessly for a free and open internet, championing user rights in the face of entrenched special interests. Chapter 510 is a local literacy non-profit serving underprivileged youth in Oakland. These organizations are the real heroes. Day in and day out, they roll up their sleeves and work to avert the darkest aspects of the future that Cumulus portrays.
David Brittain
David Brittain@combinatorial · CTO @ConceptsApp
@eliotpeper it's on my Kindle, can't wait to read it!
Eliot Peper
Eliot PeperMaker@eliotpeper · author
@combinatorial let me know what you think!
Daniel Zacek
Daniel Zacek@dzacek · Founder, Startup Services
I was a huge fan of Eliot's startup thriller trilogy Uncommon Stock. Cumulus brings the excitement and intrigue to a whole new level, and really shows what a talented and engaging writer Peper has become. I highly recommend reading this novel (and if you haven't read Uncommon Stock, read those too!)
Eliot Peper
Eliot PeperMaker@eliotpeper · author
@dzacek thanks! I'm delighted you liked it :).
Michael Kaemingk
Michael Kaemingk@mkaemingk · Behavioral Insights Team
Looking forward to reading this, Eliot!
Eliot Peper
Eliot PeperMaker@eliotpeper · author
@mkaemingk looking forward to getting your take.