Contact Details

Jon's email is His agent is Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider in New York City.

External Links

You can find Jon on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, Amazon, Amazon UK, Wattpad, Feedbooks, Goodreads, Github, and TechCrunch.


Born, raised, and allegedly educated in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, child of a Rhodesian expatriate father and a tenth-generation Canadian mother.

Writes first novel, possibly the worst work of fiction in the history of the English language, although in his defence he was only 15 years old. One of his fondest hopes is that no page survives.

Studies Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, aka "the MIT of the North." Occasionally attends classes. Sells an article to Dragon magazine, his first paid writing gig. Writes second novel. In 1995, spends four months at a work-study placement in New York City. Writes a whistleblower article for UW's student newspaper; his employers initially threaten him with a libel suit, but later apologize.

Finally, and reluctantly, awarded a degree. Voted "Most Likely To Invent A Weapon Of Mass Destruction" by his graduating class. Promptly moves to California to work in the burgeoning software industry. Writes third novel.

Quits after eight months of work and travels for four months through Japan, China, Indonesia, and western Canada. Moves to London and finds a job at a small Internet consultancy. Writes fourth novel. Sells travel articles on Hong Kong and London to Toronto's Globe & Mail.

Quits after eight months of work and travels for four months on an overland truck trip across West Africa. After trip disintegrates spends two months visiting relatives in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Returns to Toronto and takes a job at a small Internet consultancy.

Quits after eight months of work, moves to New York City, and takes a job at a small Internet consultancy. Tries to write two novels simultaneously and winds up writing two unfinished halves.

Quits after eight months of work, moves to grossly overpaid consulting job. Barely survives the excesses of the Internet boom's east-coast epicentre. Quits after four months and travels for three months in India and Nepal.

Returns to New York City for three more months of obscene yuppiedom. Lives in the legendary Chelsea Hotel. Quits, moves to Montreal, and writes the first draft of Dark Places / Trail Of The Dead (then titled Death On A Shoestring) in 25 days. Spends entire remainder of year wrestling with much longer and less well-behaved novel, now consigned to the proverbial trunk.

A winter of discontent and poverty; ill-gotten gains all squandered, and no IT jobs to be had. Finally finds gainful employment in Toronto. Sends out Shoestring to American and Canadian literary agents and collects over 100 rejection slips. Quits after six months, travels through Australia and Papua New Guinea for six weeks, and comes to rest back in London.

Sells the book. Goes skydiving to celebrate. Survives. Flees England and travels through the Balkans, for research, and Egypt, for fun. Returns to North America and spends summer gallivanting around West Coast. Attends Burning Man. Moves to San Francisco for the autumn and writes first draft of Blood Price.

Inexplicably decides to return to Canada for the winter. Survives and promptly resumes his pinball lifestyle; March in Los Angeles, April in Australia, May in South America, June in Toronto, July in London. Spends a deliriously great if unproductive autumn in Paris, then returns to India for a month of research. Visits Sri Lanka, and leaves only two weeks before the terrible Boxing Day tsunami.

Learns from his frigid last year and returns to La-La-Land for the winter. Halfheartedly tries to flog a few screenplays to Hollywood. Hollywood isn't listening, so writes Invisible Armies instead. Returns to his home and native land, and is promptly invited to Iraq by a friend working there. Turns this into a gig for WIRED magazine, and spends a week dodging mortars in the Green Zone and LSA Anaconda before escaping on a cargo plane. Summers in Montreal, then flies off to Nairobi and spends the autumn slowly zigzagging down to Cape Town, ostensibly for research.

Regains his Canadian street credibility by wintering in Montreal. Commences beating his head against what he long called "the verdammt Africa Book." Writes about a killer lake. Clandestinely moves to New York City for April to work on a Very Secret Pet Project. Returns to Montreal and the verdammt Africa Book. Jumps ship come autumn for a quick circumnavigation of the planet via airplanes and, more interestingly, the Trans-Siberian Railway, followed by a connecting train to Tibet. Escapes from the Himalaya, returns to Canada for his sister's wedding.

Remembers how cold Canada's winters are and promptly flees to sunny Los Angeles. In March, whirlwind-tours through England, Spain, Florida and Haiti. Ducks back to Montreal for a couple of months, then returns to California for the balance of the year. Indulges in prophecy for The Walrus. Finally finishes Africa book, now more popularly known as Night of Knives. Returns to Haiti to write about babies.

Moves to England for the winter. Endures the resulting scorn of all the English, but it's worth it to live in a building where Joe Strummer once lived. Returns to Montreal for the summer. Endures the resulting scorn of all the Montrealers, but it's worth it to have missed the winter. Profits from a brief addiction to Grand Theft Auto IV. Come autumn, ventures to Central America to research his new book, Swarm, and travels overland from Ciudad Perdida to Ciudad de Mexico. Both are quickly numbered among his favourite cities. Returns to Canada and starts first draft of Swarm.

Writes first draft of Swarm. Recovers by flying to South America, journeying from Rio to Buenos Aires, and spending a week hiking in Patagonia. Somehow acquires a residency in Paris for April, earning him the hatred of all his friends, before returning to Canada: this time, Toronto. Writes a few columns for Maisonneuve magazine, and a Reader's Digest cover story. Finally sells the squirrel book to a publisher. Takes up coding again, part-time, and discovers he enjoys it again.

Survives winter in Toronto, finishes Swarm, and recovers with a refreshing month in Australia. Sees his first graphic novel, The Executor, published by Vertigo Comics. Writes an app to make the world a slightly better place. Starts writing a weekly column for TechCrunch.

Sees his epic squirrel novel finally published. Spends the summer roaming around East Africa, where he visits the Internet's endpoint and goes diving with the Special Forces, and then North India, where he rides and treks through the Himalaya, taking pictures en route. Also begins a decade of writing about cryptocurrencies with sine-waving enthusiasm and skepticism.

Marries, moves to California to be at the nexus of great hiking and the epicentre of the tech industry, and wanders off to Southeast Asia for a few weeks, mostly to visit fabled faraway Burma, where he ponders the changing world, and then makes his way from Bagan to Rangoon.

Picks away at an unproduceable screenplay about James Cameron, between California road trips and some weeks in London, Paris and Istanbul. Writes about the dark sides of tech's golden age. Later in the year, wanders over to the Philippines for a brief writing-and-diving sabbatical.

Reacquaints himself with West Africa on a trip to Senegal and the Gambia. Adds the final touches to his forthcoming book of travel writing. Finishes the first draft of a new weird sweeping epic experimental science-fiction novel, which he ultimately scraps. (This happens more than writers like to talk about.) Opines about Internet languages, technology as Dadaism, and decentralization engines.
Sees his book of travel writing, No Fixed Address, published. Continues his meanderings by spending time in the Levant (Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt) including taking the ghost flight from Israel to Egypt and pondering Beirut's history of chaos and conspiracy. Also writes about how tech became a finishing school, and explained I do not want your stupid app.
Wearing his HappyFunCorp CTO hat, co-writes Twitter's Apple TV app, which receives an App of the Year award from Apple. (There may be other people out there who have won both App Of The Year and Best First Novel awards, but there can't be many.) Travels to Cuba and to Europe a few times. Also tries to explain why Bitcoin matters; wars on math are bad; and nation-states are deprecated.
Takes the justly famed Island Hopper across the Pacific for a sojourn in Japan. Writes a bit of Lovecraftian Twitter flash fiction en route. Returns to Africa to visit its northernmost point in Tunisia. (Only the easternmost to go, now.) Writes about how blockchains are the new Linux, Facebook is broken, the anxiety of technology, and - controversially, in the Valley - the end of the startup era.
Wanders back to Asia to spend time in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Vietnam for fun. Thence to Switzerland to interview Vitalik Buterin at TC Crypto. Bounced around North America a lot. After another solo-camping sojourn at Burning Man, subsequently returns to Vietnam to do some HFC consulting work. Writes about piloting, privacy vs. security, geoengineering, and, most controversially of all, JIRA.
Begins year chilling in Thailand. Subsequently finds himself chilling in a 4WD in Svalbard with a film reel full of software in one hand and a polar bear rifle in the other. All part of his then-secret new project: directing the GitHub Archive Program. (See video, in which the back of Jon's head appears several times, and Bloomberg piece.) Meanwhile, writes about American infrastructure and worrisome AI trends.
Starts off well, with the launch of Bookshop (which HFC built, and Jon initially architected) and a trip to Tulum. And then - well, being early to call it a pandemic doesn't seem to matter much. Also writes about test and trace, and GrubHub's exploitations, and signs off from TechCrunch with a very 2020 column. ...But also wrote a new novel, the first in a decade for which he has, well, great expectations.
Jon would like to stress that outside the confines of his web site he hardly ever speaks of himself in the third person.