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Kill Switch by William Hertling

Kill Switch Cover

Kill Chain Series Book 2
Availability: Amazon Kindle, Amazon Paperback, Smashwords, and more coming soon full list of retailers

Kill Switch is a technothriller exploring data ownership, privacy and its effect on identity, the fight over control of the Internet. Taking place two years after the events of Kill Process, Kill Switch can be read and enjoyed on its own, but for the best experience, it should be read after Kill Process.

Igloo and Angie are the co-founders of a new social network, Tapestry, based on the principles of privacy and data ownership. Two years later, with Tapestry poised to become the world’s largest social network, their rapid growth puts them under government scrutiny.

Tapestry’s privacy and security is so effective that it impedes the government’s ability to monitor routine communications. Fearing Tapestry will spread to encompass the whole of the Internet, threatening America’s surveillance abilities around the globe, the government swoops in to stop Angie and company — by any means possible.

Under the constant threat of exposure — of Angie’s criminal past, of Igloo’s secret life in the underground kink scene, and of their actions to subvert a FISA court order — they must hatch a plan to ensure the success of Tapestry no matter what pressures the government brings to bear.

Not knowing whom to trust, or if they can even trust each other, Igloo and Angie must risk everything in the ultimate battle for control of the Internet.


“A unique and complex technothriller — a high-tech showdown with your privacy and personal freedom hanging in the balance.”
Brad Feld, managing director of Foundry Group

“The most important book you’ll read this year about privacy, data ownership, and personal freedom.”
Timo Kissel

KILL PROCESSKill Process Cover
Kill Chain Series Book 1

Kill Process is a technothriller exploring data ownership and privacy, the decentralized web, and the impact of technology on people.

By day, Angie, a twenty-year veteran of the tech industry, is a data analyst at Tomo, the world’s largest social networking company; by night, she exploits her database access to profile domestic abusers and kill the worst of them. She can’t change her own traumatic past, but she can save other women.

When Tomo introduces a deceptive new product that preys on users’ fears to drive up its own revenue, Angie sees Tomo for what it really is—another evil abuser. Using her coding and hacking expertise, she decides to destroy Tomo by building a new social network that is completely distributed, compartmentalized, and unstoppable. If she succeeds, it will be the end of all centralized power in the Internet.

But how can an anti-social, one-armed programmer with too many dark secrets succeed when the world’s largest tech company is out to crush her and a no-name government black ops agency sets a psychopath to look into her growing digital footprint?

“Awesome, thrilling, and creepy: a fast-paced portrayal of the startup world, and the perils of our personal data and technical infrastructure in the wrong hands.”
Brad Feld, managing director of Foundry Group

“His most ambitious work yet. A murder thriller about high tech surveillance and espionage in the startup world. Like the best of Tom Clancy and Barry Eisner.”
Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project

“Explores the creation and effects of the templated self, the rise of structured identity and one-size-fits-all media culture, and feasible alternatives.”
Amber Case, author of Calm Technology



The Singularity is Closer than it Appears
Singularity Series Book 1
Available from: AmazonKoboSmashwords, Audible.

Avogadro Corp is a techno-thriller that explores how artificial intelligence will emerge and how humanity will respond to it.

When the ELOPe project is threatened to be cancelled because of server shortages, David makes a subtle change to the software allowing it to secretly modify company emails to ensure the success of the project. Soon ELOPe is social engineering people around the company to get more servers allocated to it, to modify other software to expand its own capabilities, and to neutralize threats. As David and his coworkers slowly realize what’s happening, they take ever escalating actions to shut ELOPe down, only to find the software is always one step ahead of them.

  • Science Fiction Book of the Year — Foreword Reviews, 2011
  • Winner Science Fiction DIY Book Festival, 2011-2012


Singularity Series Book 2
Available from: AmazonKoboSmashwords, and Audible.

Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the Russian mob’s botnet—the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is a little too successful, infecting all the world’s computers. Everything from cars, payment systems, computers, and smart phones stop functioning, and with them go essential functions including emergency services, transportation, and the food supply. Billions of people may die.

But evolution never stops. The virus continues to change, developing intelligence, communication, and finally an entire civilization of A.I. called the Phage. Some may be friendly to humans, but others most definitely are not.

Leon and his companions must race against time and the military to find a way to either befriend or eliminate the Phage and restore the world’s computer infrastructure.

  • Nominated for the Prometheus Award for Best Novel, 2012


Singularity Series Book 3
Available from Amazon Kindle, Amazon paperbackKobo.

In the year 2035, robots, artificial intelligences, and neural implants have become commonplace. The Institute for Ethics keeps the peace, using social reputation to ensure that robots and humans don’t harm society or each other. But a powerful AI named Adam has found a way around the restrictions.

Catherine Matthews, nineteen years old, has a unique gift: the ability to manipulate the net with her neural implant. Yanked out of her perfectly ordinary life, Catherine becomes the last firewall standing between Adam and his quest for world domination.

“Awesome near-term science fiction.” – Brad Feld, Foundry Group managing director
“An insightful and adrenaline-inducing tale of what humanity could become and the machines we could spawn.” – Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger
“A fun read and tantalizing study of the future of technology: both inviting and alarming.” – Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America, Threadless
“A fascinating and prescient take on what the world will look like once computers become smarter than people. Highly recommended.” – Mat Ellis, Founder & CEO Cloudability
“A phenomenal ride through a post-scarcity world where humans are caught between rogue AIs. If you like having your mind blown, read this book!” – Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
The Last Firewall is like William Gibson had a baby with Tom Clancy and let Walter Jon Williams teach it karate. Superbly done.” – Jake F. Simons, author of Wingman and Train Wreck.


Singularity Series Book 4
Available from: Amazon KindleAmazon Paperback, and everywhere else, too.

In the year 2043, humans and AI coexist in a precarious balance of power enforced by a rigid caste reputation system designed to ensure that only those AI who are trustworthy and contribute to human society increase in power.

Everything changes when a runaway nanotech event leads to the destruction of Miami. In the grim aftermath, a powerful underground collective known as XOR concludes that AI can no longer coexist with humanity.

AI pioneers Catherine Matthews, Leon Tsarev, and Mike Williams believe that mere months are left before XOR starts an extermination war. Can they find a solution before time runs out?


“A tremendous book that every single person needs to read. In the vein of Daniel Suarez’s Daemon and Freedom(TM), William’s book shows that science fiction is becoming science fact. Avogadro Corp describes issues, in solid technical detail, that we are dealing with today that will impact us by 2015, if not sooner. Not enough people have read these books. It’s a problem for them, but not for the [emergent] machines.” –Brad Feld, managing director Foundry Group, cofounder TechStars

“I found myself reading with a sense of awe, and read it way too late into the night.” – Gene Kim, author of Visible Ops and The Phoenix Project

“Avogadro Corp is a fascinating look at how simple and benign advancements in technology could lead to the surprise arrival of the first AI. And like all good techno-thrillers, the reality of AI is less than ideal.” –Jason Glaspey, founder,,

“This is a highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring book. Don’t start without the time to finish — it won’t let you go.” –Gifford Pinchot III, founder Bainbridge Graduate Institute, author of The Intelligent Organization

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