Guest Post with Sam Boush

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from Sam Boush. Please help me give him a warm welcome to the blog.


Books that Inspired All Systems Down
by Sam Boush, author of All Systems Down

Readers of my new book All Systems Down sometimes ask what inspired me to write it. So I’d like to share three books that inspired me, in the hopes that they might inspire you, too!

 Cyber War by Richard A. Clarke

Before the term “cyber war” entered the mainstream lexicon and before major news networks started to publish near-daily articles on Russians gaining access to America’s power grid and Chinese hacking into our dams, I read a book by Richard A. Clarke, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It. The book is terrifying. Not just because it lays out a compelling case that our country is under constant threat of cyber attack, but because it details just how unprepared we are to deal with it.

There Will be Cyberwar by Richard Stiennon

Then, while in the process of writing All Systems Down, I read Richard Stiennon’s book, There will be Cyberwar. More technical than Clarke’s book, Stiennon describes the workings of network-centric warfare. The kicker is that while the US has spent billions on this type of cyber warfare, the military leaders seem to have forgotten that the underlying infrastructure (Windows, GPS, drones, etc.), were all built on insecure software.


Clarke and Stiennon had set my writer’s brain buzzing. I started to wonder just how bad the scenario for war could get. This became the groundwork for All Systems Down, the story of elite hackers from adversarial nations, and how ordinary people are forced to survive the collapse of modern society.

The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

Another book that inspired me was James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency. I heard Jim talking on NPR back in 2005 and immediately picked it off the Powell’s Bestseller rack. The book paints the portrait of what America might look like if it ran out of fossil fuels. And while virtually none of the predictions set out have materialized, it got me thinking about near-term crises that could really sink this country. And just how bad things could get. 

The Long Emergency also does a fantastic job of detailing the interconnectedness of collapse. This is a topic I wrestled with also. If generators won’t work, how does that affect gas stations and water pumping? If satellites fall from the sky, what suffers beyond GPS? How does that affect global supply routes and air traffic?
Backed up with an arsenal of books on military command structures, cyber vulnerabilities, modern internet-enabled devices, and more, I set out to create a fictional scenario where our national adversaries bring cyber war to our doorstep. I wanted to see how, under worst-case scenarios, realistic societal collapse might happen. And if it did, how would people respond in the first minutes, hours and days.

Thanks Sam! 

Happy Reading!

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