Cogento - Press material and informations

New Book with Richard Dawkins by Swiss author Thü

An entertaining adventure that brings the reader casually closer to philosophy.
But of course, that's just part of the story. For Thü it started with the question, what a single person would need to have for an ability, in order to be able to steer the world into a sustainable and just path. This book is the thought experiment that emerged from it.

A utopian novel on 500 pages

In "Cogento", Professor Richard Dawkins officially makes his first
appearance as a literary character.

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Author Thü
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Professor Richard Dawkins
with Cogento author Thü
at Dawkin's home in Oxford,
February 2019

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photo by ecliptic planetary publishing

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All images free to use for press coverage
Text from backside of the book:
Who hasn't ever wanted to possess special abilities in order to change the world? For Vaughan Macrae, this became a reality when he surprisingly discovered that he may have gotten the most useful gift of them all. But would he also know how to use it meaningfully?

A book about the everyday life of a discreet superhero on a wrong track, who recognizes his ability, matures by it and finally leads a non-violent all-around blow against everything that goes wrong in our world.

This novel doesn't need special effects or super villains to be exciting and captivate the reader in a world that differs from ours only by one small fiction - but yet develops completely differently.

Official website

"A discrete superhero introduces young readers to philosophy"

"Swiss author Thü makes Richard Dawkins a novel character"

"Swiss author Thü describes the way to a better future"

"A fitting book for the climate movement"

Some questions to the author Thü:

Thü, what was the motivation to write this novel?
The anger about where politics and economy lead our society. That makes me ponder often how to change that. Not with a difficult political struggle, which in the end is only half-heartedly implemented, but immediately. So I asked myself: What ability would a person need to have to be able to do this alone? That would only be possible with a superpower.

And what superpower would that be?
Well, it wouldn't do much good to be able to fly. Or having super muscle power. That would not lead to anything constructive. But I won't tell you just yet, what the ability of the hero in my novel is.

Isn't superhero stuff a little worn out by now?
You're probably thinking of the action-packed productions we get served from Hollywood; fights against super villains and flat plots, which are all about putting in as much violence and special effects as possible. Even my children find that boring already. I'm more interested in the interactions, problems or advantages that a superhero has in everyday life, in dealing with ordinary people.

So it's a book for kids?
No, really not. I had older teenagers, young adults in mind when I wrote it. And one reason was that many people nowadays hardly find time to take an interest in deeper things because of the distraction of the virtual world. My book is about the state of the world and philosophy plays an important role to find a solution – also thanks to input I got from Baroness Onora O‘Neill, former member of the Human Rights Commission. I use the exciting superhero story as a vehicle to introduce readers, by the way, to topics like humanism, skepticism or politics. With hindsight, I would now say, the book fits nicely to the new climate movement.

And what role does Professor Richard Dawkins play in this?
When it comes to these topics, the professor appears and gets to be the advisor for the hero. I told Richard that I wanted to try to introduce him and skepticism to an audience that would not normally go for his books - by putting it all in the entertainment realm.

A world do-gooder's novel, huh?
It was very satisfying to write this book, yes. To create a world in which I could rectify all that is wrong in our every day reality - to hold despots, criminals, greedy politicians and international corporations to account, who normally unchallenged drag our civilization into the abyss. To playfully uncover the mechanisms behind it and at the same time show what a solution might look like.

But as a fictional novel it has no relevance for the real world.
I wouldn't say that. Science fiction has often shown that it has great potential to help shape our world. Just think of Isaac Asimov, who anticipated the use of robots and drafted laws for them. Or "1984" by Eric Arthur Blair (Orwell). One can very well try out ideas for new social systems with the help of utopian or dystopian stories. They offer creative space for philosophical considerations.

This story is set in England. Why not in Switzerland?
Yeah, mostly in London, but also in the US, China, Europe among others. I've been familiar with London since I wrote a radio play series set in Hackney. London proved to be just right this time as well, the story grew naturally into the surroundings. And it soon became clear at the beginning of the project that I would incorporate Richard into the plot. So it was logical that Oxford should be easy for the hero to reach. Furthermore, just as the reader likes to be kidnapped to other places, far away from his everyday life, this is also more interesting for me as a writer.

How long have you been working on this book?
I sketched the first scenes at the beginning of 2018, but the basic idea - the lonely, discreet superhero who makes world politics and moves exclusively among ordinary people - has been haunting my head for years.

Politically a lot has changed again. Did that influence the book?
With some strands of action I am almost too close to reality. So it can happen that reality soon catches up with my story - which would actually be desirable. Trump is already in prison with me. The Brexit is blown off. France and the USA are ruled by women. The protection of the climate is actually the most important topic and the population demonstrates worldwide. But that was long before the new climate movement.

Can the real world only be saved by a superhero?
That's what it looks like at the moment if we don't finally come to our senses. We all know the solution already. He only removes the resistance that prevents us from working together. Because only when the same, just rules apply everywhere in the world can humanity exist sustainably.

Where is the book available?
The sources will be on the website beginning by the end of May for the German version. The English this summer. Printed books on Amazon, eBooks from Amazon, Google Play and Apple Books.

"A fascinating thought experiment -
and a model for the future of mankind"

About the author
Thü was art director of Macworld magazine, illustrator and freelance editor of Macwelt. Born in 1969 and raised in Switzerland (city of Zug), educated at the Zurich University of the Arts, he later lived for a long time in South America, where he mainly worked as a musician. He now lives in Wattwil (Canton of St. Gallen) and works as a freelance illustrator, graphic artist and web designer in Zug and Wattwil. Cogento is his first great novel. Previous publications include the reference book Companies Design & Identity, the cartoon series Fermi's View, the radio plays by B.O.X. Bureau of the Unexplained, which were created in collaboration with his children, numerous computer science articles as well as reviews of recordings of classical musical works that he writes for his own Thü's Audiophile Magazine.

For further questions
reach the author Thü
directly at
Tel. +41 (0)78 630 06 34