Xeni here, professional fangirl. I have long been a fan of Barry Eisler, former CIA covert operations guy turned novelist, and did we mention he's also a martial arts master? The dude is a walking futuristic spy story protagonist, and would fit neatly inside one of his own books. The latest of these is The God's Eye View, and I'll be discussing it with him on stage in Santa Monica, CA, Monday, February 22, 2016 at 8:00pm. It's an intimate venue. Buy your tickets before they sell out.
Barry Eisler in conversation with Xeni Jardin
William Turner Gallery, Bergamot Station Arts Center 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Monday, February 22, 2016 8:00pm
About the event, and about Barry and his new book:
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
He is the New York Times bestselling author of ten thrillers. His two series, the first featuring anti-hero John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American freelance assassin specializing in “natural causes,” and the second featuring black-ops soldier Ben Treven, have received rave reviews, won numerous literary awards, hit various “Best of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. The Matrix star Keanu Reeves is set to produce and star in Rain, a globe-trotting television series based on Eisler’s books and being developed by HBO/Cinemax. More on Eisler at his website.
Xeni Jardin is journalist, hypertexter, adventurer, founding partner & co-editor of award winning blog Boing Boing, and host of Webby-honored “Boing Boing Video,” in-flight on Virgin America. She is a contributor, present or past, to NPR, Wired, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, and others; tech expert in broadcast news. She is founding board member, of Freedom of the Press Foundation. She loves music, Zero-G, named a plane and is multilingual.
Jardin is a fan of Eisler’s fiction…and Eisler gets his story ideas from publications like Jardin’s Boing Boing and Freedom of the Press Foundation. So this should be an interesting conversation—not just about the nature of our metastasizing national surveillance state, but also about the complicity of the establishment media and the role of fiction and television in shaping the public’s understanding of what the government is doing in our name.
The God’s Eye View is CIA veteran Eisler’s 11th novel, a story of mass surveillance, whistleblowers, and an intrepid Intercept reporter. Enthusiastic reception includes a boxed review in Publishers Weekly (“Eisler’s expert knowledge of spy craft and hand-to-hand combat combine with his ultra-deep distrust of government intelligence to propel this suspenseful yarn into the front ranks of paranoid thrillers”); a starred review in Booklist (“When Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove was having its run, service people left the theater muttering, ‘That wasn’t a satire. That’s what they’re like.’ So it is with Eisler’s fine thriller…”); and some kind words from Barrett Brown, Chelsea Manning, Jesslyn Radack, and other journalists and whistleblowers.
Knowledge is power…and they know everything.
NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.
Evelyn Gallagher doesn’t much care about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.
But when Evelyn discovers the existence of an NSA program code-named God’s Eye, and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistleblowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker; and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.