Udi Aharoni has been working in Israel's hi-tech industry for the past 15 years. His first book, Zuto: The Adventures of a Computer Virus, is an adventure story that offers an insightful glimpse inside the inner workings of a computer. The book was voted one of the favorite books for ages 9-12 in the Israeli Ministry of Education’s national “Book Parade.” Udi also creates animations as a hobby, and posts short, scientific, animated videos to his Youtube channel 'udiprod' which has over 1.5 million views.
How did you become a writer?
Since childhood I've been attracted to various forms of art. I filled my notebooks with drawings, invented computer games, and sketched animated cartoons.
As an adult I made some attempts at writing, both books and scripts, but none of these early attempts made it to publication (yet).
In recent years my interest in animation grew, and I started producing short animated videos, and posting them in my Youtube channel. Most of them demonstrate various scientific ideas in the fields of computer science and physics, e.g., quick sort, relativity, the halting problem, and more.
While working on these, I had an idea for an animated TV series that will take place inside a computer, and will be both fun and educational. I invented the main characters, wrote some basic script for it, and even created a short animated demonstration.
After I failed to find a producer for this idea, I decide to convert the script to a book. The book was finally published in 2009 by Rimonim publishing.
So, tell us a bit about your book.
Zuto is an equally educational and entertaining story spanning only one short minute inside a personal computer. The title character is a smart, sneaky computer virus who leads a happy life in his secret hiding place: the Recycle Bin. When a far more malicious program invades and threatens to end all life in the computer, Zuto and his friends from the dumpster – outdated, buggy programs – must set off to save their world.
The plot, characters, and scenery are all metaphorical representations of real concepts from the field of computer science.
What genre do you write?
Zuto can to a certain extent be classified as a parallel universe fantasy, since the story takes place on two levels: the realistic world of the computer's user, and the anthropomorphized inner world of the computer, which is visualized as a fantasy world.
Unlike other stories in this genre, however, the fantasy world is actually a metaphorical representation of the real inner workings of the computer, and no characters cross sides from one world to the other.
In the future I'm guessing I'll remain in vicinity of fantasy, science, and science fiction in my writing.
What are you working on at the moment?
In the past year I invested a lot of time in animation, and added some more scientific videos to my channel.
I also tried some new ideas for science fiction books, but none of these have yet matured.
Are you more an engineer, a writer, or an animator?
I definitely spend more time in software engineering than in anything else, and I guess this is the field in which I'm most proficient. Animation is harder for me, and writing even more so, but it is also the most rewarding. I hope to improve my skills enough so that both writing and animation will come more easily.
More about Udi Aharoni at his Website
Watch the video for his book trailer