Drew Rogers, author
In the near future, following years of anarchy and insurrection, with society craving law and order, an autocrat arises. That it is a machine is a sign of the times. Panoptes draws praise for its non-partisan efficiency and apolitical decisions. But when it begins extrapolating profiles, predicting crimes and executing innocent people, horror sets in. Gabriel Ross is the world’s greatest salesman, successful because he identifies what an individual wants and provides it – at great profit. He created Panoptes, sold it to the NSA and then hid, prospering while the world suffers under Panoptes’ inescapable surveillance. Unprincipled but well-intentioned, Gabriel appears to have violated his own credo of crafting transactions where everyone benefits. While Panoptes controls people, Gabriel manipulates them, from his childhood pyramid schemes to adult business betrayals. Even though combat sport is outlawed, Gabriel creates a clandestine cage-fighting syndicate attended by the world’s richest bettors. It serves as a magnet, drawing interest from both the NSA and the Russian mafia, each of which wants him dead. While they pursue him, he aligns people like dominoes, setting in motion his own redemptive end game. The fate of society hangs in the balance. An ex-NSA agent, a mixed martial arts fighter and a Russian mob boss stand among the carefully aligned dominoes that Gabriel plans to topple. “Panoptes” is a fast-paced futuristic thriller intertwining several classic conflicts, not the least of which is influence versus control.