Tag archive for "The Human Race O.C. Heaton"

On Writing

Blogs for thought

No Comments 06 December 2011

With the sequel to The Human Race now safely tucked away in an editing suite, I’ve been enjoying reading plenty of environmental and science blog posts.

Each of the five posts below really got me thinking, and I wanted to share them with my readers. Continue Reading

Future Earth

CO2 free

No Comments 15 November 2011

I was recently horrified to learn that I consumed 13.62 tonnes of CO2 while writing the sequel to The Human Race, which is ironic, given that the book is an eco-thriller. As a result, I decided to do something about my carbon output. Namely, to cut my business emissions to zero over the next ten years without impacting on my lifestyle, just as the environmentalist Ray Anderson did. Continue Reading

Future Earth

Leonardo da Vinci and the future of the human race

No Comments 08 November 2011

An important exhibition is about to open in the UK. It features a man who was first and foremost an artist, but could also credibly claim to be an accomplished sculptor, musician, mathematician, cartographer, geologist, inventor, engineer, scientist and philosopher. I’m referring of course to Leonardo da Vinci and the Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition at The National Gallery in London, where nine of his 15 surviving works will be on show between 9 November 2011 and 5 February 2012.

Leonardo da Vinci has always fascinated me. Not so much for his art, even though he is one of the greatest painters ever to live, but more for his mastery of a bewildering array of seemingly unconnected subjects and topics. Of the many inventions Leonardo da Vinci could lay claim to, some could not be constructed during his lifetime due to manufacturing limitations. These included the helicopter, the tank, concentrated solar power, the calculator and the double hull. He also sketched parachutes that centuries later were proven to work, and designed bridges that, hundreds of years later, turned out to be perfectly engineered.

The word Polymath is often used to describe Leonardo da Vinci, and with good reason. Polymaths are able to make the mental and intellectual leaps that will solve problems and perhaps lead to civilization-changing inventions, such as the device in The Human Race that promises to reverse global warming.

Interestingly, Leonardo da Vinci may occupy another unique period in history, as he lived during a time when it was possible to know everything there was to know about the known world. This would be impossible now, what with the 3,000-odd scientific papers that are published every day. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is very unlikely that someone will ever again have mastery of everything that is now known to mankind.

Do we need to know everything?

No. But what is important is that every generation has their own Leonardo da Vinci: a person characterised by his or her innate curiosity and insatiable desire to observe and question everything. In essence, somebody who will not accept anything until they have tested the alternatives. Breakthroughs and inventions always seem to follow these people. If you have these traits, then at some point in the future you can begin to “connect the dots” to which Steve Jobs famously alluded to in his 2005 lecture at Stanford University.  Things will begin to fall into place and connections will be made that would never have been possible, had you stuck to just one subject.

Like Eric Schmidt, I worry that we don’t encourage or nurture this type of individual anymore. Everyone seems so… specialised. We seem to be in such a rush to push students down educational cul-de-sacs, sometimes before they even get to university. These days, we all focus on such narrow fields of expertise from such an early age.

Does this inhibit the forming of future polymaths?

It must do and I can’t see the need for us to do this, especially as we begin to live longer and longer.  Our extended lifespans are bound to encourage more free-thinking individuals to pursue several careers, hopefully in a variety of different subjects.

Perhaps there will never be another Leonardo da Vinci of our lifetime. However I hope that there will be plenty of people of his ilk. The future of the human race depends on it.

Future Earth

What a falling sequoia tree can teach us about Mother Nature

2 Comments 07 November 2011

I recently visited The Natural History Museum in London with my eldest daughter and was thrilled to discover, on the uppermost balcony overlooking the main entrance hall, the trunk section from a huge sequoia tree felled in 1892. I was immediately reminded of the tree that Reynolds’ Grandfather chops down in The Human Race to make the infamous ‘power table’ for Reynolds Air headquarters. When I got home I went through the photographs I had taken in the museum and felt compelled to re-read that passage from The Human Race: Continue Reading

On Writing

The Human Race – now on Kindle!

3 Comments 23 September 2011

There has been a lot of excitement in the Heaton household this weekend: my publisher has just launched the Kindle edition of The Human Race! It’s been a while coming and, as you can see, this new edition also has a new cover. I like it a lot. I like the original cover too, but some readers found it off-putting. Since it was first published the book has found a wider audience, and the decision to review the artwork was taken.

It also seems fitting for an eco-thriller to be published online. So, as I’m sure you can tell, I’m very pleased. But I’m also a little sad. Continue Reading

On Writing

My writing progress: I’m a summer writer!

5 Comments 22 September 2011

Earlier this year I blogged about my obsession with my writing progress. I am scrupulous about recording my “writing statistics”, and either beat myself up when I fail to meet my targets or celebrate with high fives when I hit them.

Having just finished the second book in The Human Race “Thrilogy”, I am taking a short break before starting the third and final instalment of the series. This week, contemplating the best time to put pen to paper, I decided to compile statistics for my writing progress for the last four years. As you can see, they make for some interesting viewing: Continue Reading

Future Earth

Carbon reduction: is it good for business?

3 Comments 20 September 2011

Are big companies altruistic? And by “altruistic”, I mean the sort of altruism portrayed by Ethan Rae in The Human Race. Ethan gives away 25 per cent of his annual net profits to good causes such as carbon reduction, which, over a two-year period, amounts to more than £250 million. It’s a lot of money, but Ethan has his reasons and, importantly, the wherewithal to do it. His company, Rae Holdings, is private so he can pretty much do what he wants. In other words, he isn’t answerable to shareholders. Continue Reading

Future Earth

I never set out to write an eco-thriller…

No Comments 09 September 2011

I have two confessions to make.

Firstly, I never set out to write an eco-thriller.

Secondly, when I began to write my first novel, I wasn’t remotely concerned about the environment. Continue Reading

Future Earth

The greed of the human race and a world without consequence

No Comments 19 August 2011

As I sat watching the riots unfold across Britain last week, I couldn’t help but draw similarities with another two recent events. Firstly, the MPs expenses scandal and secondly, the financial shenanigans which nearly brought down the Western banking system. Continue Reading

Future Tech

The energy debate: what would you choose?

No Comments 17 August 2011

Let’s play a game.

Imagine you’ve just been appointed Energy Czar for your country and you have the opportunity to restructure its future energy policy in an environmentally acceptable manner. What would your chosen policies be? Continue Reading

Future Earth

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: going round in circles

No Comments 12 August 2011

Perhaps the reason why I haven’t written about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch before now is because my interest in our impact on the planet has much do with how the storyline for The Human Race developed.

The book predominantly focuses on the airline industry and a device that has the power to reverse global warming. As a result, my research for The Human Race focused on these areas and specifically, on air and land-based pollution. My research was so consuming that even now it is sometimes easy to forget that mankind is also having an impact below the surface of our planet. Continue Reading

Future Earth

The Code, the Nautilus and the human race

No Comments 04 August 2011

The other night I was watching The Code on the BBC which, as a non-mathematician, was something of a revelation. Essentially the programme concerns how numbers shape the natural world. In essence The Code is to Mathematics what the Wonders of the Universe is to Astronomy. It simplifies the science, or the maths, in this case, and is hosted by an equally eloquent presenter, in the form of Marcus du Sautoy. Continue Reading

On Writing

Welcome to the Summer Giveaway Hop!

77 Comments 31 July 2011

Welcome to the Summer Giveaway Hop!

A Rush of Green is one of 300+ blogs participating in the Summer Giveaway Hop! Each blog is offering a book-related giveaway and we have all joined together so you can easily hop from one giveaway to another and win plenty of book goodies.

THE PRIZE: A Rush of Green will be giving away copies of sci-fi thriller, The Human Race, to three lucky winners. Continue Reading

Future Tech

Could a “techno-fix” be the answer to global warming?

No Comments 14 July 2011

The idea of a techno-fix as a way to cool the planet caught my attention last week, after reading a story in the Guardian about geo-engineering.

The title of that Guardian piece, Geo-engineering: green versus greed in the race to cool the planet, took me back to 2009, when I was deciding what to call my first novel. My publisher and I settled upon The Human Race, but two of the main contenders for the title were Greed and Greed V Green. Why? Because the central themes of the book are mankind’s greed, the impact this greed has had on the human race and planet Earth, and the question, can we successfully remain on the planet in spite of our poor green credentials? Continue Reading

Future Tech

I feel the need… the need for speed!

No Comments 08 July 2011

Last week I had to read a few chapters of The Human Race, in connection with some promotional work, and one section caught my eye. It is when Uma is talking to Ethan about the speed at which technology invades our lives these days. The examples she cites are all consumer products and she looks at the time it took to sell 15,000,000 of the following items:

  • 15 years for the television.
  • 12 years for the video recorder.
  • 11 years for the mobile phone.
  • 10 for the PC.
  • 8 years for the CD player.
  • 5 years for the DVD player.
  • 2 years for the iPod. Continue Reading

Future Earth

What would you do with $56 billion?

No Comments 22 June 2011

Bill Gates was in London last week to promote, amongst other things, The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation conference. It is a key focus area for Bill Gates’ own charity, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to improve global health by eradicating common killers such as enteric and diarrhoeal diseases, HIV, AIDS, malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Bill Gates has an estimated worth of $56 billion. To this day he has given $28 billion to organisations such as The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is backed by his own Foundation.

Interesting, isn’t it? Bill Gates’ worth puts him at number two in Forbes’ list of The Richest People in the World 2011 – and yet he has pledged to leave it all to his Foundation before he leaves this mortal coil. Continue Reading

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Reviews of The Human Race

Unputdownable. Yes, I know it's not a word, but it definitely applies here, anyway. That's the word I'm going with, to describe The Human Race by O.C. Heaton. - Hira N. Hasnain

An outstanding first novel from O.C. Heaton that catapults him into the Best Seller league… - Justine Bond

"This is an exciting, fast-paced read. The Human Race is a book that is very easy to forget to put down. Bring on part two!" - L. H. Bowers

"If you are looking for a well-plotted and well-written thriller to while away the hours of a long flight, this offering might suit you very well." - David Bryson, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

For further reviews of The Human Race by O.C. Heaton click here.

Author Bio

Charles Heaton British thriller writer O.C. Heaton, author of The Human Race, is fascinated by the past, present and future of human evolution. (Image credit: Ross Parry Agency) Read More>>

O.C. Heaton’s bookshelf


O.C. Heaton in the Guardian

O.C. Heaton's post about Harold Haw was featured in the Guardian.

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O.C.'s bookshelf: read

The BeachThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeLife of PiOuter DarkThe FirmAlexander 3: The Ends of the Earth: A Novel

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