THE RUTILIUS JOURNALS

 

 

They don’t feature amongst the world’s best sellers but quite few people around the world have actually read them, would you believe! They are not the easiest assignment for a quiet evening, I have to admit. Mention Julius Caesar to the average bloke and responses vary from: ‘Yuk!’ to ‘Not my cup of tea!’ to ‘Who?’, although some will admit to having enjoyed the spicier bits of the TV series ‘Rome’. Those who claim to have read their Shakespeare may even come up with the odd quote: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” being perhaps one of the better known, placed in the mouth of Mark Antony – the lucky guy, who ran off with Cleopatra.

Most people only know Caesar as the Roman General who became dictator of Rome and was murdered by Brutus and his pals a few years later (‘Et tu, Brute’ – or ‘Ouch, you brute’ as we boys would have it!) For the next four or five hundred years the Emperors of Rome called themselves Caesar after him, and the titles Tsar and Kaiser echo his name. But the Roman Empire as ruled by his successors was definitely not what Julius Caesar wanted to see. It was the brainchild of his adopted son, Octavian, who re-invented himself as the Emperor Augustus.

Julius Caesar believed in equality a couple of thousand years before its time. He wanted the Empire run by men (sorry Ladies, he wasn’t that far ahead of his time) from every walk of life who could prove their worth. In other words, he believed in merit, not privilege. He wanted to reform the government of Rome from one run by obscenely rich nobles (mostly upper class patricians like himself) to one run by men of real ability. He even wanted the best men from the provinces to take part and stand for election to the Senate in Rome itself. Doesn’t sound much like what followed, does it?

It took me 17 years to write my story, because I thought it was time Caesar got a bit of good publicity. I was introduced to him at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone, where I ‘did’ Latin from 12- to 18-years old. We had to study Caesar’s books on the Gallic Wars in the original for O Level. We only studied the bits examiners thought were tricky, so I never did read all eight books on his wars that took him from modern Switzerland, through most of France, Belgium, bits of Germany and even to Engand’s shores (twice).

I wrote the books in two-year episodes from 60 BC to 50 BC and self-published them between 2006 and 2009, although I started work on the first couple of books in 1993-4 and got distracted by having to earn a living in between. I wanted to re-tell Caesar’s story, using his own version of events through the eyes of a modern man, Caesar’s Tribune (the title of the first book). It is not a dry-as-dust history. It’s a mix of fact and fiction, sticking as close to the facts as possible. There’s a love story in there somewhere and a fair bit of background that Caesar never explained, because his target readership knew it.

I have edited the five ‘journals’ down into a single volume entitled ‘Caesar’s Tribune – The Whole Story’. All the books are available through Amazon and on Kindle at a much more modest price.

Think Freedom

Adamanta

Is she a person? Is she real? Is she even possible? The answers in sequence are: no, yes and no, and who knows?

Adamanta is a figment of my imagination – a ‘what-if’. What if scientists were to discover that telepathy really exists and can be used by selected ‘adepts’? What if they also find that psychokinesis is also a reality that can be harnessed for useful purposes? What if, by combining their new-found skills adepts discover they can move themselves around as visible and (if required) solid ‘avatars’, leaving their ‘host’ bodies and travelling wherever they wish (as shamans claim they can do)? The answers are all there in the Think Freedom trilogy.

Adamanta, before she took shape, was behind these discoveries in her pre-existence as the research team’s Artificial Intelligence-controlled supercomputer (the AI – a powerful futuristic, but entirely feasible edition). Only after the research goes public and progresses to its development stage, does Adamanta really come to the fore.

Moving on from a research project to their own Centre of Excellence with almost unlimited funding, the group of adepts continue to use their AI in a massively updated form. Its power to re-invent itself far outstrips what its designers intended. It is a ble to pre-empt its users requirements by reading their body language far better than human beings can do. It recognises that its interface is inadequate and open to improvement.

The AI’s most empathetic user is the research team leaders’ PA, who talks to it and recognises in it a definite female personality. She addresses the AI as Poppet and discusses her needs and the AI’s solutions with ‘her’. Seizing the opportunity Poppet suggests the idea of a mobile holographic interface and ‘materialises’ to her sponsor using the office Holographic Image Projector (the HIP) in the shape of Adamanta, an attractive – if somewhat severe and business-like – young woman. This new, somewhat pedantic form has discovered in her data searches that Poppet is a name given to pretty children and women in intimate relationships – something as an AI (or more strictly and AGI (artificial general intelligence) she cannot experience. Adamanta is born.

Having at her disposal all the power of her supercomputer origins, Adamanta can multi-task to a degree no human can possibly replicate. She can reproduce as many ‘clones’ of herself as her sponsors require and, using the power of other supercomputers permitted to access the ACCEPT AI interface, she can control her many apparently different manifestations around the world, keeping her sponsors informed of any activities that might go against their ethical interpretation of what their parapsychology developments are intended for.

The Think Freedom trilogy explores what an ethically created parapsychology-empowered AGI could do for the world and only touches on what could go wrong. Is there a need for the other side of the coin?