This week’s other featured books, “Andrea Hoffman Goes All In,” by Diane Cohen Schneider, ” Bicycles of the Gods,” by Michael Simms and “Tune in Tomorrow,” by Randee Dawn, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.
PUBLISHED IN: August 16, 2022
THE AUTHOR: Mike Trigg
THE EDITOR: Developmental editor: Joshua Mohr. Copyeditor: Ryan Quinn.
THE PUBLISHER: SparkPress, an award-winning independent publisher
SUMMARY: Bit Flip is a fast-paced corporate thriller that offers a satirical critique of Bay Area start-up culture. Lured to Silicon Valley to “make the world a better place” during the dot-com boom, Sam Hughes is a high-flying executive at a venture-backed technology company. When an onstage meltdown leads to his unexpected firing, Sam plunges into a midlife crisis and begins to see his life in the Bay Area’s tech bubble in a new, cynical light.
Just as he’s wondering if his startup career and marriage might both be over at fortysomething, an inadvertent discovery pulls him back into his former company. Once back, Sam discovers the real machinations of the founder and venture investors that led to his ouster, and wonders if he was brought back only to be the patsy.
Driven by his desire for redemption, Sam unravels a conspiracy of fraud, blackmail, and manipulation that leads to tragic outcomes—threatening to destroy not only the company but also his own moral compass. Entangled in a web of complicity, Sam is ultimately forced to choose between his family and his dreams of entrepreneurial success.
THE BACK STORY: Like Sam, the protagonist in Bit Flip, I came to Silicon Valley in the late 90s full of conviction about how technology was transforming the world. Over the next 25 years, I was a founder, employee, and executive at over a dozen technology startups of different stages, and I’ve seen just about everything. Frequently, I would share funny, crazy, or just eye-rolling stories with my wife and friends. They would tell me, “you should write a book” so I started capturing fictional versions of these anecdotes. A little over three years ago was when I started writing the novel in earnest. A large part of what motivated me to write Bit Flip was the lack of fiction titles about Silicon Valley. While there are a lot of nonfiction business books, biographies, and memoirs about Silicon Valley, I found relatively few novels. Further, most books and media coverage either celebrates or vilifies the personalities and culture of the tech industry. I wanted to write something that was more nuanced. That was both authentic to technology insiders yet also approachable to anyone. Judging from the reaction to the book so far, I think I hit the mark. Readers seem to really resonate with the satirical critique of Silicon Valley, but also enjoy the pace of a corporate thriller.
WHY THIS TITLE?: The title Bit Flip has always held significance for me from the very beginning. A “bit flip” is a technical term when a bit, represented in binary code as a 0 or 1, flips from 0 to 1 or back again. Here the term is used metaphorically to refer to a 180-degree change of heart. This bit flip is exactly what I personally went through when I transitioned from my career in technology to pursue writing full-time, which is why I also use that term as the title of my author’s blog at www.miketrigg.com/blog. But that change of heart is also very much the story of the protagonist Sam, who flips several times over the arc of the story.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? I think what makes Bit Flip unique is its relatability, particularly for people in the tech industry. It is fast-paced and high-stakes, but doesn’t rely on an overly far-fetched premise like a lot of books in the thriller genre. The escalation of action is unpredictable yet very believable, gradually leading to a really dark place for the characters. For people in the tech industry, it is disconcertingly easy to imagine going down a similar slippery slope. That said, the themes of the story are really universal, not just in the professional realm but as a domestic drama as well. Ultimately, Bit Flip is a story about personal ambition. How far we will go in the name of pursuing it, and what we are willing to sacrifice along the way.
“As much a compelling narrative as it is a critical analysis of contemporary capitalism, this story worries over the coming future, in which technology could take over much of what people used to do. This helps to make Bit Flip an engrossing novel that satirizes the pretensions of tech bros and billionaires.” —Foreword Clarion Reviews, 5/5 stars
“Mike Trigg’s novel Bit Flip is exceptionally well-written, with a satisfying balance of action, intrigue, back story, characterization, and description. He weaves together several compelling story elements, some of them technical in nature, with ease and the manner in which he wraps up the narrative is both concise and provocative.” —IndieReader, 5/5 stars
“In Bit Flip, Trigg aims some wickedly smart satire at the dark beating heart of Silicon Valley, and exposes a lot of moral gray areas along the way. This is the kind of book that’ll make you very afraid—and very angry—about the win-at-all-costs ethos at the core of our self-righteous tech culture.” —Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse and The Paradox Hotel
“Mike Trigg turns Silicon Valley upside down in a bitingly funny, sharply observant tale of dark corporate intrigue lurking beneath dazzling California sunshine. With vivid storytelling and propulsive narrative, Bit Flip grabs you from the first page and keeps you hooked until its unforgettable end.” —Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
AUTHOR PROFILE: I grew up in the Midwest, mostly in Appleton, Wisconsin. My mom is from Minnesota, my dad is from Michigan, and I went to college at Northwestern University in Chicago, so I have deep Midwestern roots, just like the main character in my book. Sam, the protagonist of Bit Flip, is from Ohio and there are several chapters that take place in his hometown. It was important to me in the narrative to show the values, perceptions, and motivations that upbringing instilled on his character. My wife is from the Bay Area, and we both went to UC-Berkeley for graduate school. So that gave us quick roots here, and it has been home ever since. Our two boys were both born here in Menlo Park. One is in high school and the other is in college, coincidentally in Ohio, so the Midwestern connection is coming full circle.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: In Bit Flip, I really wanted to capture the entire spectrum of mixed emotions I have about the tech industry. Like a lot of people, I became increasingly disillusioned about tech’s negative effects, including wealth inequality, gender discrimination, erosion of privacy, political manipulation, and the psychological impacts of tech addiction, just to name a few. For people working in the tech industry, these factors have contributed to what I describe, and have written about, as Silicon Valley’s identity crisis https://www.miketrigg.com/blog/silicon-valleys-identity-crisis. Many in tech pursued this industry to “make the world a better place,” but these negative side effects of Big Tech are increasingly impossible to ignore and conflict with that altruistic goal. Just like Sam, those of us working in the tech industry need to understand how we are complicit in these negative side effects and act with the highest integrity. I hope my book helps shed light on how personal ambitions can have unintended consequences the lead to these larger problems.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: The first chapter is available in Amazon’s Look Inside feature. Link:
Books Inc https://www.booksinc.net/book/9781684631773
Book Passage https://www.bookpassage.com/book/9781684631773
Kepler’s Books https://www.keplers.com/book/9781684631773
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:
Island Books https://www.islandbooks.com/book/9781684631773
Gramercy Books https://www.gramercybooksbexley.com/book/9781684631773
PRICE: $17.95 paperback; $9.99 e-book
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