Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guest Post: The Heart of an AI by Yolanda Sfetsos

 "In this dangerous galaxy, nothing is safe. Not even your heart.

SFR series featuring space cowboys, shifters, vampires, pirates, gladiators, AI, and the tough women who love them..."

Hi there! It’s great to visit The Galaxy Express again, so I want to thank Heather for having me over today. I’m very excited at the moment because my latest SFR book was released a few days ago. It’s called DASH and happens to be the fourth installment in my RECAST series. So far I’ve written about a space cowboy, a sheriff, a shapeshifter, an assassin, a vampire, a psychic, and the latest addition features an AI and the gladiator he falls for.

That’s right, I said AI. As in, Walsh is an android or robot—whatever you want to call him. He’s a Y-123 model, which are all males that look alike and were outlawed years ago. Now there’s a handful left in the galaxy living in remote places so that they don’t catch the attention of the authorities. See, Y-123 might look generic, but they were programmed to develop individual personalities. They can think for themselves, learn and even love. All traits that made them desirable to people searching for company or pleasure, but not so much for everyone else.

I first introduced this model of AI in WITHER, and his name was Young. He was the sheriff’s sidekick and fell in love with her, sacrificed his life to save hers. Since then Brynn has carried his memory chip around her neck. When she crossed paths with Walsh inside the Clash Arena, she was stunned that another had survived. But now that the arena has fallen, Walsh has set his sights on the mysterious Taylor. The only female able to survive the brutal arena fights captivates him.

When both escape in search of freedom, they instead become entangled in a new adventure. One that Walsh is eager to explore. After all, he’s got a thing for Taylor but isn’t sure she feels the same way. He’s an AI and she’s a woman. How could any woman want him? He’s no stranger to being around the opposite sex, but is usually used for someone else’s satisfaction. Yet, Walsh wants to experience a mutual exchange, wants to feel a real connection with someone he desires. But it’s hard to share these intentions when no one takes you seriously.

Writing from Walsh’s POV wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. Up until this point I’d written about humans and humanoid aliens in this world—biological beings who have complicated feelings and emotions. But I refused to think about Walsh as just a machine. I’d already experienced how deeply and passionate a Y-123 could be because of Young. So it wasn’t hard to put myself in his shoes. Sure, he’s never going to be human and won’t be able to do everything a man can, but he’s got a lot of beneficial advantages. Walsh can be repaired if he’s damaged, he can certainly be intimate, can outlive a human, is stronger than one, definitely smarter, has developed feeling, and is well acquainted with emotional pain.

His model is one constantly ridiculed and despised for his programming, belittled by other characters because no one understands the true capabilities of a Y-123. They are labelled as unloving creatures that are nothing more than sex toys. But what if they’re wrong? What if Walsh actually feels a lot deeper than they do? What if his programming really did allow him free will and the capacity for attraction? Well, this is the story that answers those questions.

I’ve always believed androids and AI have the capability to show as much—if not more—emotion than humans. Some people can be coldhearted and vicious, hurt others without hesitation and are selfish or greedy, never thinking about anyone else but themselves. And these people are as biological as you and me. Besides, humans compartmentalize everything in their lives, so who says an AI can’t do the same? And probably do a better job at it.

So, what’s the difference between writing a love story between an alien, human and android? In my opinion, there’s not much difference. Robots might look at the world through more analytical eyes than the rest of us, but I believe they’re still capable of having a heart.

If you give Walsh a chance, he can show you. :)

Thanks for reading,

About the author

Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat.

Connect with Yolanda Sfetsos

She escaped the arena of death, but trusting him might be the death of her.

RECAST, Book 4

Taylor may be the Clash Arena’s most dominant—and only—female gladiator, but today she just can’t catch a break. After winning yet another brutal fight, with the arena inexplicably falling down around her ears, she jumps at the chance to escape the prison of her subterranean pit.

Instead, she finds herself knocked unconscious more times than she can count, and pursued over the edge of a sea cliff by an AI enforcer she can’t shake off her heels.

Walsh has been living a double life, masquerading as a tyrant’s enforcer while hiding his true agenda. When the despicable arena falls, there’s only one thing on his mind—saving the savage blonde who doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Which is a considerable distance.

Once he convinces her he’s not out to kill her but help her survive, they form an uneasy alliance. But Taylor senses he’s keeping a secret, not just from her, but about her. And the truth will show them exactly what it is to be human.

Warning: This book contains some girl-on-girl action, a kick-ass gladiator who takes no crap, an AI who puts it all on the line, a band of misfits who aren’t as merry as they seem, cute tadpoles with sharp teeth, and grip-you-by-the-hair kisses. Strap in, interstellar turbulence is a bitch.

For more information about the Recast series as well as buy links, click here.