As much as I’d like to believe that everything I write about comes from between my ears, strictly speaking, that’s not true.
I’ve read about how writers can have certain influences, usually other writers. I have no idea which writers influence me. Decades ago, I may have said Harlan Ellison. Plenty of writers made me want to read, but he was the only one who made me want to write.
Unfortunately, over my long and unproductive “career” of attempting to write fiction, I have failed miserably, mostly because I felt my characters were wooden and my concepts derivative.
I suppose you could say that Isaac Asimov is an influence, but that’s only true because I’ve been writing Three Laws Positronic robots stories. I suppose you could also say Anthony Marchetta is an influence since it was his anthology God, Robot that started off my most recent attempts at fiction writing, but besides the concept of “religious robots” themselves, that’s not particularly true (we really, really think about “theobots” in very different ways).
The closest thing to the truth is that my friend Tom is currently my greatest influence.
Tom and I have coffee together every other Sunday afternoon. We have a variety of things in common, including an interest in science fiction and comic books going back to childhood.
Since he was the one who introduced me to Marchetta’s robot anthology and thus launched this blogspot, I talk with him about what I’ve written and what I’m planning to write.
And thereby hangs a tale.
I started bouncing thoughts off of him last Sunday, mainly about the technical difficulties in writing my “Venus” short story (which you may not get to read anytime soon), but then ideas started flashing back and forth about where to take this series.
I won’t go into the details, but by the end of the afternoon, I had this terrific idea about how to turn these stories into a novel. I’ll have to leave out Asimov, Positronics, and the Three Laws, mainly because I don’t what to have to deal with copyright and licensing issues (but also because I want this to be a totally original novel), but I think it’ll be great.
I’m actually stuck on two different endings. They’re not all that different from each other, but they lead to radically different conclusions.
It all starts out more or less, like the stories you’ve already read. In fact, those stories will change very little. The novel will be about the evolution of true AI, not the programming languages and platforms we use today to create AI, but an actual synthetic AI that mimics biology rather than technology…maybe a sort of marriage between the two.
Yes, Judaism and Christianity will be introduced. Yes, that’s absolutely pivotal to how these AIs evolve and the final resolution to their dilemma and the novel.
This is going to take a lot of work. I’m still doing a high level outline of the TOC (Table of Contents) and chapter summaries. If I can pull this off, and especially if I can get anyone to publish it (and hopefully, readers will like it), it’ll be fabulous.
Thanks for the kickstart, Tom. See you next time for coffee and more ideas.