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Fuchs, Michael Stephen 1970-

Fuchs, Michael Stephen 1970-

PERSONAL:

October 28, 1970. Education: University of Virginia, B.A., 1992; attended Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and Stanford University. Hobbies and other interests: Mountain biking, motorcycling, music, Libertarianism.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Virginia Institute of Government, coordinator of Internet services; Security First Technologies (formerly SecureWare, Inc.), Atlanta, GA, webmaster; Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, manager of Web development team; Netfish Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, began as webmaster, became program manager for the wireless division, performed training, consulting, and presales support functions in the Global Services group; independent consultant and contractor, 2001—.

WRITINGS:

The Manuscript (novel), Macmillan New Writing (London, England), 2006.

Pandora's Sisters (novel), Macmillan New Writing (London, England), 2007.

Also author of a story collection.

SIDELIGHTS:

Michael Stephen Fuchs has worked in the Internet industry since 1994, beginning in Web development and wireless B2B (business to business). His first staff job was with the Virginia Institute of Government, and his second was with Security First Technologies, the group that began Security First Network Bank, the first online bank, in 1995. At Stanford University Medical Center, Fuchs managed a team of developers, system administrators, and media artists that developed Web sites, streaming media, databases, and search engines that supported more than fifty thousand pages. His team also provided support to hundreds of clients and users. Fuchs next went to Netfish Technologies, a venture capital-financed vendor of B2B software and services, as a webmaster, then as wireless program manager. He developed a wireless strategy, developed prototypes and demos, and was involved in the promotion and marketing of the products. Netfish was acquired by the Irish software company IONA Technologies, and Fuchs was sent to Germany to train that company's Central European operations on the use of the Netfish B2B product, as well as to provide sales support. Since October, 2001, Fuchs has worked under contract to such companies as Mizuho International and the U.K. Department of Work and Pensions. He works for clients in both the United States and London and has been a presenter and speaker at various conferences and meetings.

In describing his writing, Fuchs notes on his Web site that it "deals predominantly with the central (and prodigiously enduring) problems of philosophy and religion. These include the stark anomaly of human consciousness, the paradox of free will in a mechanistic universe, and the possibility of morality in a world with, palpably, no inherent moral shape to it. Ultimately, I believe the human problem is unary: that of being an exquisitely sensitive spark of awareness irretrievably trapped in a dying hunk of meat and whirling through an empty and Godless cosmos. I tell fables about people trying to make sense of that." Fuchs continued: "They are helped along, and occasionally head-faked, by the findings of very new and culturally disruptive sciences and technologies such as evolutionary psychology, cognitive neuroscience, genetics/genomics, artificial intelligence, and this wacky Internet thingy. I believe that the insights of these vernal disciplines into our eternal mysteries may be profound."

Fuchs's debut novel, The Manuscript, is titled after what is said to reveal the meaning of life as discovered by Sir Richard Francis Burton in the mountains of Argentina sometime around 1860. As the story is told, after his death, Burton's wife burned all of his papers, but this one survived. In the novel, the meaning of life is to be found on the World Wide Web, at an unregistered IP address on an unused protocol, where Burton's find is posted, waiting for someone to discover it. System administrator Miles Darken and his former girlfriend Dana Steckler, a graduate student of medical ethics, lead the seekers of the lost wisdom. Other characters include an intelligence agent, drug-dealing chemistry student, assassin, and a hacker.

Debra Hamel, who reviewed The Manuscript on her Deblog Web site, wrote of the story: "It's set in a decidedly wired world and peopled by intelligent technogeeks, and the author is adept at getting his characters' jargon and the feel of their world down on paper. He is also able to make technical information interesting and intelligible, maybe even sexy," she commented about the way in which Fuchs describes IP packets. "I love the way the author sometimes pauses his narrative with these highly technical bits of explication—on IP packets or tunnel vision or the tactical considerations of the various parties to a Mexican stand-off. Some of these passages really shine." Hamel offered a negative comment, however, similar to one expressed by a reviewer for the OpinionatedGeek Web site, which was that it is hard to keep track of the many secondary characters in this techno-thriller.

Fuchs's second novel, Pandora's Sisters, features narrator Kate, a programmer of violent video games who rides a Ducati motorcycle and fires guns with both hands, and who tells the story of a message that is encoded in human DNA. Philosophy and religion, in addition to science, are elements of the story that New Scientist reviewer Rowan Hooper described as "a bit Da Vinci Code," but noting that this story involves several world religions.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of The Manuscript.

New Scientist, August 25, 2007, Rowan Hooper, review of Pandora's Sisters, p. 52.

ONLINE

Deblog,http://dhameltyipepad.com/ (January 17, 2007), Debra Hamel, review of The Manuscript.

Michael Stephen Fuchs Home Page,http://www.michaelfuchs.org (March 25, 2008).

OpinionatedGeek,http://www.opinionatedgeek.com/ (May 22, 2006), review of The Manuscript.

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