John Twelve Hawks

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John Twelve Hawks (pseudonym, also known as J12H or JXIIH to his fans) is the author of the 2005 dystopian novel The Traveler and its sequels, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm Trilogy. The trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 1.5 million books.[1] "John Twelve Hawks" is a pseudonym and his real identity is unknown.[2]

Biography[edit]

Sources[edit]

Both John Twelve Hawks and his American publisher state that he has never met his editor and that he communicates using the Internet and an untraceable satellite phone, usually employing a voice scrambler. Biographical information about his background is based on five sources:

Origin of his name[edit]

During an online conversation John Twelve Hawks had with his fans on his new website he explained the origin of his name:[3]

The real story is this …
I was walking through a forest …
Encountered a hawk nesting area …
And 12 hawks circled around my head for about ten minutes ….
So close that the tip of their wings brushed the side of my head. That was why I picked the name. REAL hawks. Not symbolic ones.

Information[edit]

Twelve Hawks' initial biography on the Random House website was only one line: "John Twelve Hawks lives off the grid." At some point in 2007, that line disappeared and was replaced with "John Twelve Hawks is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Traveler."

John Twelve Hawks is his "adopted" name, but in the Spiegel interview he states he is not an American Indian. In the Spiegel interview he talks about visiting East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the USA Today article, his response to a question about religion began with, "When I was in my twenties..." and when an editor asked him whether the "realm of hell" could be compared to current conditions in Iraq, Hawks replied "it's more like Beirut in the '70s". In the Spiegel interview and in the Daily Telegraph article, Hawks states that he drives a 15-year-old car and that he does not own a television.[4] These personal facts and a description of JTH's unique lifestyle were confirmed in the 2008 Joseph Mallozzi Weblog interview.[5]

The SFF World interview indicates that Twelve Hawks lived in a commune and learned about literature by stealing books from a restricted university library and then returning the books the next day. In the same interview, he states he wrote The Traveler after passing through some sort of personal crisis. In the interview in SFF World Twelve Hawks claims that he has "no plans to go public" regarding his identity.[6]

According to Twelve Hawks' agent, "He lives in New York, Los Angeles and London", and The Traveler sets its story in all three of these locations.[7]

Against Authority[edit]

On August 20, 2014, John Twelve Hawks released a free non-fiction book called Against Authority: Freedom and the Rise of the Surveillance States. [8] The book is dedicated to the novelist,Thomas Pynchon.

Against Authority begins with a personal description of the neurological experiments performed on Hawks when he was a child and states that all of us have the ability to reject the “right” of those in power to control our lives.

The book explains how the Total Information Awareness program developed by John Poindexter at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) after the September 11 attacks led to the expansion of the National Security Agency and the revelations of Edward Snowden. Hawks criticizes the assumption of “mass surveillance” strategies against terrorism and shows how “trickle down surveillance” has spread to small towns and developing countries.

JTH believes that surveillance technology has given those in power a crucial tool for social control. He describes how the culture of surveillance is used to track citizens for commercial reasons and gives examples of how people are now routinely watched at work. In the conclusion, He advocates a strategy of “parallel lives” that allows people to exist in the digital world while protecting their private actions and thoughts.

Spark[edit]

John Twelve Hawks novel,Spark, will be published in October, 2012 in the United States and Great Britain.

The book is narrated by Jacob Underwood, a man who suffers from Cotard delusion, a real-life neurological condition in which the afflicted person thinks that he or she is dead. Underwood is hired by a New York investment bank to work as an assassin, eliminating threats to the bank's clients. "Underwood’s strength as a hired killer is the emotionless, robotic nature that allows him to operate with logical, ruthless precision." [9] But, when the bank asks him to track down Emily Buchanan, a minor employee who has absconded with financial secrets, Underwood gradually becomes more human and feels moments of empathy. Hawks describes a dystopia where people are beginning to be replaced by robots. Underwood's journey is an exploration into what human values will survive in a world of machines.

Initial reviews of Spark were generally positive. The Publisher's Weekly review mentioned JTH's writing style: "Twelve Hawks’s prose, cold and clinical at times, yet punctuated with moments of great sensitivity, matches the tone and mood of his setting perfectly." In a starred review in Booklist, reviewer David Pitt wrote: "It’s been several years since the Fourth Realm trilogy ended, and some readers might have wondered if the author had only one story to tell. But guess what? As good as the Fourth Realm books were, this one may be even more appealing: less fantastic, more grounded in a contemporary real world, with a narrator who is deeply scarred and endlessly fascinating." [10]

In October, 2013 Deadline Hollywood reported that the film rights to Spark were sold to Dreamworks.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

  1. The Traveler (2005)
  2. The Dark River (2007)
  3. The Golden City (2009)
  4. Spark (2014)
  5. Against Authority (2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warner Bros Acquires 'Fourth Realm' Trilogy". March 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Those remaining literary recluses in full". The Guardian (London). 1 February 2010. 
  3. ^ John Twelve Hawks (2009-05-24). "Live chat with John Twelve Hawks". wespeakforfreedom.com. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  4. ^ David Thomas (2007-04-01). "Like Dan Brown, but better". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  5. ^ Joseph Mallozzi (2008-10-30). "Interview With John Twelve Hawks". josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  6. ^ Rob Bedford (2005-12-04). "Interview With John Twelve Hawks". SFFWORLD.COM. Retrieved 2006-08-12. 
  7. ^ Carol Memmot (2005-06-27). "Cryptic 'Traveler' has book world buzzing". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-08-12. 
  8. ^ John Twelve Hawks (2014-08-20). "Against Authority". 
  9. ^ "Spark". www.publishersweekly.com. 2014-08-04. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  10. ^ David Pitt (2014-09-01). "Review of SPARK". www.booklistonline.com. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  11. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. (2013-10-14). "DreamWorks Buys John Twelve Hawks Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Spark’". http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 

External links[edit]