Alex Krupp June 26, 2005 2:39 PM

Personally, I liked the cover. And I agree that the book is worth reading for everyone. I think you need to find some wealthy sponsors to mail a free paperback copy of your book to every family in the country (or whatever percentage is enough to make the rest curious enough what all the fuss is about)

Bruce Schneier June 26, 2005 6:16 PM

I liked the cover, too. And I thought it would attract a mass audience. But I am continually amazed by the number of people who don’t see the image.

Thomas Sprinkmeier June 26, 2005 7:08 PM

Well Bruce, get ready for a little more amazement then 🙂

What is the image?

(don’t have my own copy yet (on the birthday wishlist), so I’ll blame it on the small image on the screen)

Alex Krupp June 26, 2005 8:56 PM

Matt: Yeah to me it looks very reminiscent of the shots of columbine high school taken by the security camera, with an x-ray blur effect, to suggest fear. I like it because when you get really scared or are in severe pain and are turning white and about to pass out, everything kind of looks like that.

Roger June 26, 2005 9:56 PM

It’s a bunch of people walking down some sort of corridor, but it’s out of focus. One person is leaning against a wall and has something in his arms, he perhaps looks like a busker playing a violin. Another one has something on his shoulder, perhaps a ghetto blaster. Most of them are just walking. My overall impression is of an access tunnel at a subway station, or something like that. My take is that Bruce is saying “here is an environment where there do exist potential security risks, but our vision of it is unclear so it looks scarier than it really is”. Am I close, Bruce?

Thomas Sprinkmeier June 26, 2005 10:34 PM

Looking at it now I can’t see how I couldn’t see it before. I guess its not really an optical illusion, it just looks like one.

Nice metaphor in the image.

Kipli June 26, 2005 11:54 PM

I don’t know if this is what was intended, but when I saw the cover, I immediately thought of this event:

Gun-Wielding Cops Conduct Drug Sweep At School
Drug Sweep Finds No Drugs
KSAT, link

POSTED: 3:52 p.m. EST November 7, 2003

A drug sweep Wednesday morning at a South Carolina school has some parents and students questioning police tactics.

Surveillance video from Stratford High School in Goose Creek shows 14 officers, some with guns drawn, ordering students to lie the ground as police searched for marijuana. Students who didn’t comply with the orders quickly enough were reportedly handcuffed.

Police didn’t find any criminals in the armed sweep, but they say search dogs smelled drugs on a dozen backpacks.

The school’s principal defended the dramatic sweep.

“We received reports from staff members and students that there was a lot of drug activity,” said George McCrackin. “Recently we busted a student for having over 300-plus prescription pills. The volume and the amount of marijuana coming into the school is unacceptable.”

The parents of some students who were subjected to the sweep disagree.

“I was just upset knowing they had guns put to their head and a canine was barking at them and about to bite somebody,” said Latonia Simmons, the parent of one student. “It was awful.”

OzJuggler June 27, 2005 10:25 AM

Go on Bruce, we’re dying to know. Can you reveal what the image on the Beyond Fear cover is supposed to represent, or is there going to be some Simon Singh-style competition to guess what it is?

If it is from an infamous real life event then be warned that not all of us are indoctrinated with horror videos from USA television news, so we might not recognise it.

If it’s just a metaphor for uncertainty being confused with danger, then some juxtaposition of blurred and unblurred image would have been better.

FB June 28, 2005 5:59 PM

To me, it’s clear that it’s a shot of people waiting on a subway platform… It’s a very familiar sight here in NYC,

Thomas Sprinkmeier June 28, 2005 7:35 PM

To me it’s clear that it’s unclear what it is!

We don’t have enough information to make a good decision.

The device could be a gun, or something else. The person holding it might be benign or malicious. I might be in that crowd or I might not. This could happen frequently or rarely.

We’re given an unclear, incomplete picture that induces fear. Our gut reaction is to seek protection, but we don’t even know what we need protection from, how much protection we need or what we’re giving up in return.

Mike June 29, 2005 8:24 AM

I wonder if Bruce has considered releasing his book(s) in the Audiobook format. I have more car time (ie. listening time) than I have for actually reading lately so I’ve been on the audiobook kick. I was quite disappointed to not find his books available in Audiobook format…

Bruce Schneier June 29, 2005 8:33 AM

We haven’t been contacted by any of the Audiobook companies to buy the rights. If on did contact me, I would certainly be in favor of selling them.

Mike June 29, 2005 8:57 AM

I looked for a top audiobook publisher and found RandomHouse. I emailed them, asking them to consider contacting you regarding producing Beyond Fear and Secrets and Lies as Audiobooks… heres to hoping! 😀

Mike June 29, 2005 10:45 AM

I’d be happy with anyone reading it, actually. I enjoy the different styles and voices. Currently, I’m listening to “I,Robot,” which is read by Scott Brick. I think he’d do a great job in any technology-oriented book.

Anonymous June 29, 2005 7:29 PM

James Earl Jones!

Failing that, GWB (it’d be one way to get hime to read it)

Mike June 30, 2005 11:59 AM

I also enjoy the author’s reading their own work – since they know the voice inflections, etc. that they were trying to create with their sentence structures.

Bruce, would you consider doing it or would you rather leave it to “the pros?”

Fred December 13, 2008 9:21 PM

Yes, audiobooks would be fantastic! I have a lot of time in the car, more than I have time to read. Thanks!

Chelsie May 23, 2011 8:51 AM

I noticed there are many older comments request an audio version of the book, Beyond Fear. Can anyone tell me if anyone has produced this thus far?

I am reading this book for one of my masters courses and reading 150+ pages in a short number of days while working 50+ hours a week in DC is not always do-able. An audio version of this book would allow me to listen while commuting!


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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.