“Something woke up. Independent machine intelligence appeared rarely, spontaneously, and scientists didn’t understand the process. Some said an independent intelligence created itself slowly as bits of programming accumulated, and eventually it would ignite into consciousness — much the same way that a pile of manure would spontaneously combust…”
On March 16, I took part in the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Deep Dish reading at Volumes Bookcafé here in Chicago, and I read Chapter 3 of my next novel, Dual Memory. You can watch a video of that reading at YouTube. It’s a short chapter, 5 minutes, and it’s funny until it isn’t.
You can see the other readers — and they were great — at the Deep Dish YouTube channel, and learn more about them at the Speculative Literature Foundation’s website post.
Dual Memory comes out on May 16. I’ll have a launch party that evening at Volumes Bookcafé in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. If you can’t come but you want an autographed copy, you can order it through Volumes and we’ll be delighted to get it to you.
You can read the first chapter of Dual Memory and get links to more booksellers at the Tor Forge Blog.
And if you’re wondering what the book is about, here’s the review by Publisher’s Weekly:
Burke explores art and artificial intelligence in this clever near-future adventure. The dual narrators, one human and one computer, meet on the small arctic island of Thule, run by altruistic doctors. Antonio Moro is a Bronzewing mercenary defending the island from the Leviathon League raiders bent on enslaving its civilians when he is blasted from a rusty garbage barge. Injured, he’s left to recover ashore, and secretly ordered by Bronzewing Captain Soliana to root out raider infiltrators. He’s also linked to a personal assistant program, Par Augustus (or “Venerable Companion”), one of only four extant independent intelligent machines. Illiterate Antonio, a self-taught artist who is invariably polite to machines, and Par, a prickly manipulator capable of well-meant deceit, make an unlikely duo, but together they just might be able to save Thule from the Leviathon League. Burke loads the story with fascinating characters as she probes how humanity’s artistic capacity to inspire might interact with AI’s flexible intelligence. This playful glimpse of nonthreatening human-machine interaction is sure to charm.