Author to Master’s student

Alex Maskill decided to undertake a conversion Master’s in Computer Science at Kent after he discovered an interest in programming whilst writing an award-winning science fiction novel.

Alex was an undergraduate student in Political Science at the University of Leicester when he heard of the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award, a competition soliciting fiction manuscripts from unpublished authors. Alex heard about the competition in August 2012, and with only five months before the closing date, Alex wrote around 1000 words a day to hit the deadline.

‘Writing the book while studying probably stopped me getting a first, but I still got a 2:1 in my degree, and I’d rather have that and a book out to be honest,’ says Alex, ‘I had the vague idea of a futuristic city in the middle of a desert, and I wanted something political that would keep my interest for the months that I was writing it. I brain-stormed the book starting from the themes and building the plot, setting and characters to accommodate them; the big idea ended up being using biotechnology and cybernetics as an extended metaphor to explore larger ideas about sociopolitical concepts of systemic alienation and dehumanization. For the full story¬† go to: ¬†