First Light of Day

An expansive trip into our future and the technology to take us there. Michael Steep has created a new genre of Technological Realism that gives the reader a heady combination of science fiction and scientific fact.


Tom Wheeler- Author: From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future, former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission


 Mike Steep gives a griping look at how artificial intelligence and digital technologies will fundamentally change the future for every individual and organization. In his fictional narrative, he provides a fascinating look at life in the near future based on his treasure trove of experience of over three decades at the world’s most admired technology companies.


Michael Morell - Former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

The book you are about to read not only describes the complicated, chaotic, potentially threatening, world that waits for us just around the corner, it exhibits that future.  That is to say, in its design, it is a chimera, this book is an unlikely yet wonderful hybrid between a science fiction thriller and a non-fiction scientific paper.

When I first opened First Light of Day, I was skeptical.  How could such a book possibly work?  But as I read its compelling narrative I understood - this is the only way this complex subject could be approached.  and Internet of Things –  hurtling towards us promises to be so revolutionary, so astonishing, and so disorienting that perhaps the only way to see it from the perspective of the present is through fiction--I should know; I spend an enormous amount of time trying to get across these points across.  No non-fiction futuristic narration could possibly capture the human dimension of this metamorphosis, much less the emotional, internal explosion about to take place in each of our lives.   

Yet, at the same time, this new world will be created and maintained by the relentless advance of the technology revolution.  And to appreciate how this will occur, the reader also needs an in-depth briefing on the technology itself – and how the world we know will be upended by the penetration of this smart tech into every corner of daily life. This demands a different type of narrative: precise, objective, and unsentimental. How then to combine the two?  How to tell a compelling story, while underpinning it with empirical information to make that story not believable, but possible?

The novel First Light of Day is a dramatic, exciting and chilling work of art.  This is the dystopian Black Mirror style future that we who work in technology fear most, the one that awakens us sweating in the night.  And Steep has made this story even more powerful by driving the various plots toward what we all sense is the turning point in human history:  the first fully conscious computer.  Mike Steep tackles this challenge in the most clear-eyed way imaginable.  It is fearless writing of the highest order.  You are in for a (terrifying) treat.


Then, when you finish the novel, rattled and telling yourself that this is “just fiction”, Steep presents you with a full exegesis of all of the technology that he’s just described.  Yes, he’s telling you, this scenario can indeed happen – that, in fact, it’s the most likely scenario for the future.  And if you still have doubts, he further presents you with real-life examples of where the first steps towards this new world have already occurred. 

It can truly be said that only Mike Steep could have written such a memorable and innovative book.  As director of the Digital Cities Institute at Stanford University, he is the world’s leading expert on the impacts of the new communications, transportation and information technologies on modern urban life.  When he describes the life of Mikhail, his friends, lovers and enemies in the London of 2045, the future he predicts is likely to be more accurate than any other writing today.That said, there are a lot of experts in the world, though few with Mike Steep’s credentials.  What makes him unique, is that he is also a trained novelist – apprenticed by the likes of novelist Norman Mailer and legendary writing professor Bob Lucid.  A hugely successful career in corporate America – including tenures as a senior executive at Apple, Microsoft, and Xerox PARC– may have temporarily lured him away from career in literature, but he never gave up his love of fiction-writing.  

With First Light of Day, Mike Steep at last fulfills that early promise.  This book will entertain you, stun you, and even shake you to the core.  And when you finish the novel and its extended non-fiction counterpart, you not only will have traversed a remarkable creative achievement . . .but will have experienced something surpassingly rare: an early glimpse of our common fate.  


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