Mark Coggins

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Mark Coggins
Robert Crais and Mark Coggins.jpg
Robert Crais and Mark Coggins
Born 1957[1]
New Mexico
Occupation Novelist
Notable works The Immortal Game

Mark Coggins is the American author of a series of novels featuring private eye protagonist August Riordan. He was born in New Mexico in 1957 and attended Stanford University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in International Relations, a masters in Computer Science and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.[2]

While at Stanford, Coggins took creative writing classes with Tobias Wolff and Ron Hansen and wrote the first short story featuring August Riordan in a class for Hansen. This was published in 1986 in The New Black Mask, a revival of the famous Black Mask pulp magazine that launched the careers of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.[3]

Coggins has worked in the Silicon Valley for such companies as Hewlett Packard, Mozilla[4] and Netscape[citation needed] and although Riordan as a character is something of a technophobe, Coggins' novels often explore high technology themes and Silicon Valley culture.[5]

His first book, The Immortal Game, dealt with the theft of chess-playing software similar to that run on Deep Blue and was nominated for the Shamus Award[6] and the Barry Award.[7] 2007's Runoff described a fictional mayoral election in San Francisco where the results were altered by individuals who hacked the city's electronic voting machines.

His most recent novel, The Big Wake-Up, envisioned an altered version of the bizarre history of the peripatetic remains of Argentina's most famous first lady, Eva Perón. Rather than resting in the Duarte family tomb in La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Coggins posits that the body in La Recoleta is a duplicate and that Eva's specially embalmed corpse has been secretly buried in the San Francisco Bay Area under a false name. A mad scramble for possession of the body ensues, pitting contemporary Peronists—who wish to return the body to Argentina to further political ambitions—against ex-military leaders from the 1970s, who wish to destroy Evita once and for all.[8]


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