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of Leicester when he heard of the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award, a competition soliciting fiction manuscripts from unpublished authors.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: