The Chaos Protocol

Book 1 in the Millennium Trilogy

Finalist for the 2000 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction

The Chaos Protocol by Nancy McKibben

To the unscrupulous, y2k is more than a potential catastrophe for society … it’s an opportunity waiting to be exploited for personal gain. And a ruthless mathematician has taken the step that will turn the world’s misfortune into his own private bonanza.

With the millennium fast approaching, vast sums of money begin to disappear from Department of Defense accounts, and then from a major bank whose y2k project is headed by British-born Annette Ashby.

The culprit? A computer worm. It threatens to spread across the country, even the world, imperiling the global economy – and if the word isn’t found and eradicated before December 31st, banks around the world will unwittingly archive it into their vital data files.

Who can Annette trust? The shadow of suspicion has fallen across two men on her year 2000 computer team. Nerd-next-door Leo Hermann has abandoned his prestigious Silicon Valley job for a chance to win Annette’s love. And his rival, the equally brilliant and farm more charming Russian émigré Vladimir Borodin, has his own plans for Annette.

When the FBI and the CIA join the hunt, the action moves to St. Petersburg, then back to the States as the y2k team races the millennium clock to save the world’s economy from the computer worm that could trigger its collapse – the Chaos Protocol.

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The Chaos Protocol by Nancy McKibben

Print Version

Read The Prologue and Chapter One of The Chaos Protocol

Praise for The Chaos Protocol

From the literary world . . .

John Chidester, Director, Mt. Vernon and Knox County Libraries

The Chaos Protocol is a splendid first novel. Nancy McKibben has all the right parts in all the right places. Her characters are vividly drawn, well-motivated, and even the bad guys are likable – at least to begin with. The story is well-constructed and believable, with technical details blended in smoothly enough that even the most computer-illiterate reader should still come away unbaffled. The plot is admirably paced, with suspense rising slowly at first, then fast and fast until the story’s slam-bang climax.

And everyone should appreciate some of its subtle but important sub-themes: the necessity of staying human even when making a profit, the touching altruism of total strangers (even techno-geeks), and the reality that panic is never a viable option.”

The Midwest Book Review

“The Chaos Protocol is a tautly written, highly recommended thriller.”

Columbus Alive

“An intriguing international spy novel with an exciting plot and rich characters. McKibben . . . has a clean style that is easy to read and enjoy. Her characters are natural and relaxed, an accomplishment in a genre built on archetypes. The characters do act their parts in a class action-adventure plot – heroine, hero, and villain – but McKibben gives the readers a glimpse of their humanity by exposing their frailties. Hard-core action fans will be satisfied by the novel’s plot and pace. McKibben knows her subject and audience.”

Dayton Daily News

“A page-turner in the old-fashioned sense, quickly paced and deftly plotted.”

The Other Paper

“Well-paced and not too techie . . . The Chaos Protocol isn’t an End of the World As We Know It book, but a . . . thriller set against the backdrop of Y2K – a wise choice by McKibben, since it now appears that the promised apocalypse might be a tad oversold. Since it isn’t dependent on outlandish predictions, this novel should still have a life after New Year’s Day.”

Mansfield News Journal

“Downright scary because it’s conceivably so real . . . keeps suspense at a fever pitch.”

Louise Vetter, co-author of the Alison Glenn mysteries

“In this fast-paced thriller, McKibben finally writes flesh onto a topic that has remained all too abstract, showing us what can happen when the unscrupulous look at our lasest man-made disaster and see only opportunity. A thought-provoking read.”

Cameron Powell, Writer, Adjunct Professor of Advanced Intellectual Property Law, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

“This is a well- and fast-paced page-turner. With gripping and even sympathetic characters to drive her plot and subplots, McKibben delivers. It’s more than a thriller. Unlike the stuff of Clancy et al, the premise in The Chaos Protocol is actually within the realm of possibility.”

John and Toni Cross, owners, Foul Play Mystery Bookshop

“Nancy McKibben delivers the goods in The Chaos Protocol. For all your customers who’ve secretly bemoaned the end of the Cold War or wishing longingly that Eric Ambler were still with us and writing, recommend this book.

“McKibben weaves a highly believable tale that will stick in the reader’s memory long after midnight 12-31-99 is a distant event. Details are accurate enough for the fussiest techno-nerd, but blended smoothly enough to maintain the interest of a reader whose main computer activity is playing Solitaire.”

‘Fast-paced’, ‘compelling plot line’, ‘engaging characters’, ‘couldn’t put it down’, are all quotes we’ve heard in the bookstore since we chose The Chaos Protocol as the December book for our Mystery Lovers Discussion Group.”

From the Computer World . . .

Steve Davis, Director of Coalition 2000, president, DavisLogic, author of Best Practices Manual for the Year 2000, co-author of Y2K Risk Management

“A fabulous medley of fiction and reality. A tribute to Y2K troopers everywhere.”

P.J. Wylie, computer consultant and author of Power Your Way Through Y2K

“You’ll stay up till all hours reading this suspenseful book! McKibben knows people and tells a gripping story with Tom Clancy thoroughness.”

Norman Kurland, moderator for the CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) email list

“McKibben cleverly uses her knowledge of Y2K and large computer systems to tell a credible story of potential technical disaster. But this is not a technical manual disguised as a novel. McKibben enlivens the story with the very human accounts of the people who must find the worm and stop it from creating chaos.”

From the intelligence world . . .

Leonard Zawistowski, Senior Investigator, US Federal Reserve Bank

“The scenario is credible. The Chaos Protocol is a nice blend of technology, action, and emotions.”

James E. Freeze, Major General, USA, Retired, Former Military Intelligence Officer Major General, USA, Retired; Former Military Intelligence Officer

“An exciting novel that weaves a web of international intrigue around one of the central issues of our time, while showing us the vulnerability of our computer systems to malicious hackers and economic espionage. McKibben blends a clever mix of credible fact and suspenseful fiction in this captivating yarn of a marauding coputer worm and the dedicated team seeking to disable it. A fine read now and for years to come.”

© 1999. Nancy McKibben. All Rights Reserved. The Chaos Protocol logo, logotype and manuscript are the exclusive properties of Nancy McKibben.

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