Softletter Editor Releases New Science Fiction Novel: First in Series of Five

Quantum Computing Meet Japanese Manga in an Epic Fantasy Where Reality Itself Comes Under Siege

In 2060 the notorious hacktivist group, Rule-Set (The One Set to Rule You All), threw  the US presidential election by seizing control of  NETS, (the National Election Tabulation System) and diverting three million votes from the winning candidate. In 2062, Rule-Set topped itself by hacking Colossus, the backbone of the first commercial immersive service.  Via biometric inputs fed to wearable gossamers, immersive computing revolutionized society by enabling subscribers to experience all five senses when gaming and interacting online.

Warned anonymously, the FBI discovered that 42 accounts, each running a software simulation, had been illicitly installed on a quantum computer powerful enough to store data equivalent to 48 times the number of atoms in the universe.  The government impounded Colossus, set traps and waited for Rule-Set members to return to the scene of the crime and login. But no one did and no Rule-Set member was ever caught.  For a quarter century, these accounts have run with full access to the power of Colossus.  Some Sims are unchanged, some have died, some have evolved and now something wants out and will kill to escape.

In 2087, Clarence Hamilcar, ex-Marine lieutenant, decorated veteran of The Koumintang War, associate professor of oriental literature studies, and failed tenure candidate at Black Hills University, South Dakota, is flown under contract by the US Army to Waxahachie, Texas. His destination is the Hyperconducting Hyper Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, built on the remains of the Superconducting Super Collider, abandoned in 1993 after excavation of 14 of its planned 54 miles of tunnels. Clarence’s agreement requires him to immerse and “liaise” with Hanabusa Narihisa, an AI extracted from a Japanese-manga-based sim who combines beauty with a bad temper and a very sharp katana.  In the HHC’s tunnels 200 feet below Waxahachie, Clarence and Narihisa engage in a battle of skill and wits whose prizes are the secrets of Colossus and Rule-Set.

“Rule Set” author, Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman was born in New York,  grew up in the Bronx, and has always been an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy (he’s particularly proud of the fact he attended the first Star Trek convention ever held, in New York’s Statler Hilton hotel).  He writes regularly on technology and speaks at and hosts software industry conferences. His experience provides him with a perfect backdrop to explore how our world will be changing in the coming decades and sparked a personal evolution that led him to craft the extraordinary world of “Rule-Set.” In addition to writing, model building, and collecting vintage stereo, Rick is also interested in the rapidly developing quantum computing industry, advanced physics, and AI. In his career, Rick has worked as a programmer and product manager for a variety of software firms. His observations in “Rule-Set” on machine sentience were influenced by his experiences in programming in such languages as Turbo Prolog and Lisp prior to the “AI Winter” of the late 1980s.

Rick is currently the editor of Softletter, a business newsletter for software companies. He is also the author “In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters” (Apress).  Stupidity has been released in two editions, reached 64 on Amazon’s rankings, remained on the top 1,000 for two years and has been translated into seven languages including Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (two dialects). Later this year, he will be co-hosting “Business After Windows,” a conference that analyzes the new technology and business models cloud computing is creating.

For more information on the latest technology conference Rick will be hosting in Foster City, CA, Nov. 11th, please visit

Rule-Set: A Novel of a Quantum Future

Available in digital editions everywhere online including  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and Tower Books.

ISBN:  9672008-3-0


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