School governor makes his debut in science fiction

Steyning Grammar School governor Calum Chace
Steyning Grammar School governor Calum Chace

A LOVE of science fiction since childhood has led a Steyning man to publish his first novel.

Calum Chace, a Steyning Grammar School governor, tackles the timely issue of artificial intelligence (AI) in his book, Pandora’s Brain.

Having read science fiction books since he was a boy, he developed a special interest in AI when he studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford.

“I discovered that the science fiction I had been reading since early boyhood was actually philosophy in fancy dress,” he explained.

“The promise and peril of AI has really caught the public imagination since Stephen Hawking commented on it last year. That makes Pandora’s publication this month very timely.”

A regular speaker on artificial intelligence, Mr Chace was in Seville last week, attending a Singularity University Summit on AI and related subjects.

The cover of Pandora's Brain

The cover of Pandora's Brain

He trained at the BBC and later had a column in the Financial Times.

He went on to be a marketer, strategy consultant and chief executive, and maintains his interest in business by serving as a chairman and coach for growing companies.

In 2000, he co-wrote The Internet Startup Bible, a business best-seller published by Random House. Pandora’s Brain is his first novel.

“The story begins in Steyning in the very near future, although the town is not named,” said Mr Chace.

I discovered that the science fiction I had been reading since early boyhood was actually philosophy in fancy dress

Author Calum Chace

“It features Matt, a shy but engaging and resourceful student who discovers his recently-deceased father was involved in research that could enable the construction of the world’s first conscious machine.

“Matt’s enquiries lead to him being kidnapped, as he is caught in the crossfire between two groups pursuing that goal. A dramatic seaborne rescue operation, a series of brutal murders and other filmic action scenes follow.” Visit www.pandoras-brain.com for Mr Chace’s blog and to find out more about the book.