Nov 16 2007
Retired from the US Army after 20 years of service in the intelligence community as a Chinese linguist. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on Chinese studies and graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California. In 2006, I attended the XCon2006 computer security seminar held in Beijing China and in 1997 was on special assignment to the US Embassy in the People’s Republic of China. One of my fondest memories was attending the Beijing Institute of Economic Management Immersion Program in 1995.
About the cover
The cover design, by Mr. Charles A. Martinson III, is a composite consisting of three major elements: the rendering of an ancient Chinese copper helmet; the opera mask of Jiang Wei; and computer circuitry. The combination is a blending of ancient and modern that attempts to capture the character and nature of the Red Hacker Alliance. It depicts the competing elements that superimpose themselves over the lives of these young nationalists and how it shapes their future.
The helmet represents the spirit of the warrior and the hackers’ belief that they are acting in defense of their nation. It is also meant to convey the idea of cultural traits passing from one generation to the next, the old transforming and reawakening anew.
The opera mask of Jiang Wei was used for similarities in character. Jiang Wei was a commander of the Shu Army and considered one of the greatest men of the Three Kingdoms era. His mentor, Zhuge, was so fond of him that he bequeathed him all of his books on strategy. Jiang Wei was thought to have special knowledge of the universe that melds with the Red Hacker Alliance’s understanding of the cyber world. The color blue was added to the mask to bring in the attributes of fierceness; the color red already present in the mask for loyalty, symbolizing nationalism; and white, the element of deceit that exists in the darker intent of their intrusions.
The infusion of circuitry and binary numbers shows the extent of their immersion in a world in which many of us are unfamiliar. This extreme devotion to an alternate realm brings easily to mind the stuff of movies, the combination of man and machine — the cyborg.