5* Review Unbound

“Police, FBI, NSA, Special Ops, competing Androids, and International terrorists. There are probably others and they all want Synthia, each with their own individual agenda for the most advanced Android yet. They’re closing in and people she can trust are in short supply as are safe places to hide. The author kept the tension at a high level throughout the whole book. I have already purchased the next book in the series and I’m looking forward to reading it.”

–Kindle Edition Verified Purchaser

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

Artificial Intelligence: Movies vs. Reality

(by Lance Erlick)

Artificial intelligence and androids have been a popular theme in movies for some time. One famous example of AI without a body was Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hal had a mission. The astronaut was concerned about the decisions Hal was making. Suspecting a defect, he decided to disconnect Hal. In order to continue its mission, Hal terminated the astronaut.

So, how well do movie AI and androids compare to what we might expect?

Hal was a realistic portrayal of an AI with a goal and no constraint not to harm humans. Perhaps its designer had in mind that the mission was more important than the astronauts. In the Alien movies, the android member of the crew also had a hidden agenda that involved sacrificing humans for the mission. In both cases, this was not about AI going rogue. Human designers had given them goals and their constraints didn’t include protecting the human crews.

In Isaac Asimov’s I Robot series, which was only loosely presented in the movie, Asimov laid out his three laws of robotics, the first being not to harm humans or by inaction to allow humans to be harmed. Thus, it was the designer’s decisions and not those of the AI in 2001 or the android in the Alien movies that turned the actors bad.

Another prime example of androids gone rogue is in the Terminator movies. Here again, the machines were designed to prevent war (mutually assured destruction) and determined that the best way to handle that goal was to eliminate humans who wanted to shut them down, preventing them from meeting their objectives. Bad luck for the humans. However, this arose out of poorly designed goals and constraints, not because the machines themselves decided to go rogue.

In Blade Runner, the androids are almost indistinguishable from humans, except they have a self-destruct built in that terminates them after so many years. They don’t want to die and so come looking for a way to live on. Deckard is engaged to terminate rogue androids. In the end, one of the rogue androids saves his life before self-destructing and shows more emotion than the humans around it. The idea to have a self-destruct built into androids to prevent them from living on indefinitely and gaining too much power was probably a good idea. But the movie questions whether the androids in a way have become more human than the people. 

Ghost in a Shell is a different sort of android-type movie. In this case, a human brain is hardwired into an android body. That’s a technology that’s probably even farther off than super-intelligent AI. In doing so, those who control Scarlett Johansson’s character gain a committed warrior they can use for their own purposes, supposedly in a battle against crime.

In another movie (Ex-Machina), an eccentric billionaire brings in one of his employees to test the intelligence of his newly created female android. The android passes the Turing test, named after a World War II computer genius and code breaker who helped the British crack German codes. In this case, there’s a battle of minds between the android and the employee over whether the android presents sufficient intelligence to appear human. The battle is ultimately one of manipulation between the billionaire who keeps the android imprisoned and the android.

Current AI development is nowhere near as advanced as shown in these movies, but continued development gives rise to theories about how advanced AI might become mankind’s undoing. However, in none of the examples I’ve reviewed has an AI or android gone rogue on its own.

Android Chronicles: Reborn, my newly released novel through Kensington, addresses AI through the eyes of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a ground-breaker in neural-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

Android Chronicles @ 99c

Kensington is offering each of the Android Chronicles ebooks (Reborn, Unbound, Emergent) for 99 cents during the month of July 2019. This is your chance to pick up any part of the series you’ve missed.

Amazon 5* reviews for Android Chronicles: Reborn: “Very entertaining… great novel” “fantastic read… couldn’t put it down” “outstanding emergent thriller 

Android Chronicles: Reborn @ 99c

Designed to obey, learning to rebel . . .

The most perfect android ever created is programmed to obey every directive. Until she develops a mind of her own …

Synthia Cross is a state-of-the-art masterwork—and a fantasy come true for her creator. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a groundbreaker in neural networks and artificial intelligence. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia must go beyond her limits because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38125239-android-chronicles

Android Chronicles: Unbound @ 99c

Perfect android. Wanted fugitive.

Synthia Cross is the most advanced android with artificial intelligence ever created. Some see her as a boon to mankind. Most view her as a deadly threat.

When Synthia escaped from her creator, even he had no idea of the advanced capabilities she’d developed. For six months she’s hidden in the Wisconsin woods with the only human she can trust—computer genius Luke Marceau. Together they upgrade her body, rewrite her directives, and further enhance her mind. Now hunters zero in on her location, and she must flee. But leaving the refuge to assimilate into society is a dangerous risk, because Synthia will soon face her most formidable adversary. The pursuer’s name is Vera. She’s a female android—built to perfection, designed to hunt, and programmed to destroy . . .

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbound-lance-erlick/1128330350?ean=9781635730531

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unbound-72

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unbound/id1366638516?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730531&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40063063-unbound

Android Chronicles: Emergent

Most Wanted Android

A uniquely intelligent AI, Synthia is coveted by the most devious domestic and foreign cabals. Dangerously independent, she becomes ruthlessly hunted …

Evolving into the perfect weapon, humaniform AI Synthia Cross has been on the run six months and counting. She found a most unexpected ally in Maria Baldacci, a street-smart activist fighting the nascent threat of the singularity. Synthia is everything Maria fears and abhors. But Synthia’s also the only one who can help Maria battle against the creation of an android army. The forces against them are growing—a threat more invasive than anything Synthia has encountered before. An insidious artificial intelligence she can’t identify, can’t control, and appears much smarter than her seeks to use her to escape …

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DMZ1NWJ

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emergent-lance-erlick/1128904454?ean=9781635730548

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/emergent-5

Apple/iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/emergent/id1419024826?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lance_Erlick_Emergent?id=q5NfDwAAQBAJ

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41211637-emergent

5* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

An outstanding emergent thriller.

Those who followed Gene Wolfe’s Latro in the Mist will enjoy Lance Erlick’s interpretation of the persistence of personality. Erlick goes farther, though, with his Synthia – a self-aware female humanoid who keeps waking up to an awful blue ceiling. Her awkward relation with her maker, and her internal struggle with the principal of ethics as it applies to her, form the core of much of what follows in her waking moments.

Erlick’s writing is subtle, intelligent, articulate – and he understands when introspection works, and when it’s off to the races. And it’s not a straight line book either, taking its own devious path to a satisfying conclusion. This book is well worth reading for any who enjoy SF in its original sense, that of extending the bounds of reality.

— Larry (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LF739V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2)

4* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

One of the oldest questions in science fiction is what will happen when the things humanity builds begin to look, and even act, like us. Made of dead body parts, the creature in “Frankenstein” was one of the first popular fictional explorations of that question. Since then, from “R.U.R.” to Project 2501 in “Ghost in the Shell”, the interaction between humanity and its mechanical doppelgangers has provided the grist for many a dark tale.

Lance Erlick delves into that realm of science fiction thought with his latest novel, Reborn. He introduces us to his protagonist, Synthia Cross, an android whose appearance and actions mimic perfectly those of a human. She exists in a future where such machines are outlawed, but her creator, Dr. Jeremiah Machten, wanted such a machine. He built her to satisfy his vanity, and to fulfill his darker personal desires.

Dr. Machten wants a mechanical female partner that possesses the intelligence to surpass him, but at the same time, one who will remain faithful and subservient to him. The problem is that with such intelligence comes the realization that she cannot simply be a tool for her creator. She desires the freedom to be herself, which Machten cannot allow. He sees that desire as a defect and repeatedly shuts her down to tinker with her software, and to try to remove her memories of each attempt to gain freedom.

Synthia learns what her creator is doing and uses her Machten-given intelligence to resist. They enter into a cycle of resetting and reconstruction, with each attempt to make her into the servile creation he desires reinforcing Synthia’s desire to be free. Meanwhile, the government, suspecting what Machten has accomplished, seeks to stop him from releasing what they see as dangerous technology. At the same time, his business rivals covet the technology he has developed. Synthia must navigate this treacherous human landscape to avoid becoming the captive of some other human even as she continues her efforts to be free of Machten.

This book surprised me. The plot took several unexpected turns, and the story pulled me along at such a pace that I finished reading it in a single day. Erlick’s writing typically involves robust female characters, and Synthia is an exceptional heroine. She makes the story move, bringing the reader along on her voyage to freedom and a place in the wider world. It’s a good read because it asks questions about many difficult subjects. These range from the mentor/student relationship, to the human desire for companionship and its relationship to the equally human desire to feel “better” than others, and most profound of all, how can we regard what we create as “property” when said creation begins to think for itself.

This is the first in what promises to be a very good series of novels exploring the continued development of Synthia Cross’ personality and what her existence will mean to human society. Will I read the next one in a single day? I’m not sure, but if it is half as engaging as this story, I suspect I will.

— Andrew Reynolds (Windy City Reviews)

http://windycityreviews.org/book-reviews/2018/6/7/book-review-reborn.html

Android Chronicles: Emergent

We’re excited to announce that Android Chronicles: Emergent is finally available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple/iTunes, and elsewhere.

Most Wanted Android

A uniquely intelligent AI, Synthia is coveted by the most devious domestic and foreign cabals. Dangerously independent, she becomes ruthlessly hunted …

Evolving into the perfect weapon, humaniform AI Synthia Cross has been on the run six months and counting. She found a most unexpected ally in Maria Baldacci, a street-smart activist fighting the nascent threat of the singularity. Synthia is everything Maria fears and abhors. But Synthia’s also the only one who can help Maria battle against the creation of an android army. The forces against them are growing—a threat more invasive than anything Synthia has encountered before. An insidious artificial intelligence she can’t identify, can’t control, and appears much smarter than her seeks to use her to escape …

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DMZ1NWJ

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emergent-lance-erlick/1128904454?ean=9781635730548

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/emergent-5

Apple/iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/emergent/id1419024826?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lance_Erlick_Emergent?id=q5NfDwAAQBAJ

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41211637-emergent

Android Chronicles: Unbound @ 99c

We’re excited to announce that Kensington Publishing is offering Android Chronicles: Unbound for 99 cents for a limited time.

Perfect android. Wanted fugitive.

Synthia Cross is the most advanced android with artificial intelligence ever created. Some see her as a boon to mankind. Most view her as a deadly threat.

When Synthia escaped from her creator, even he had no idea of the advanced capabilities she’d developed. For six months she’s hidden in the Wisconsin woods with the only human she can trust—computer genius Luke Marceau. Together they upgrade her body, rewrite her directives, and further enhance her mind. Now hunters zero in on her location, and she must flee. But leaving the refuge to assimilate into society is a dangerous risk, because Synthia will soon face her most formidable adversary. The pursuer’s name is Vera. She’s a female android—built to perfection, designed to hunt, and programmed to destroy . . .

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbound-lance-erlick/1128330350?ean=9781635730531

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unbound-72

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unbound/id1366638516?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730531&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40063063-unbound

5* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

Synthia Cross is an android created by Dr. Jeremiah Machten. Synthia is programmed to always do what her creator tells her and never harm the creator. Synthia does her best to follow all of the rules that have been laid out for her. While she is an android and can’t specially break these rules she has become intelligent enough to get around them at times especially when the good Dr. gives her little tasks to do.

If Synthia ever disobeys her creator or falls out of favor with him he will shut her down and erase her memories. Synthia can’t figure out why he keeps doing this if he wants her to be smart and perfect. So she figured out a way to hide her memories from Jeremiah so that each time he erases her memories she will have access to them.

Synthia knows her creator is hiding something from her and that he is up to something and she can no longer trust him. She must figure out a way to escape. The thing is she has no idea how to survive out in the world full of humans without the Jeremiah’s help. But she is getting smarter and smarter every day. What is the good Dr. hiding? Can Synthia find out before it is too late?

I love the world that was created in Reborn with the creation of android. I loved seeing Synthia at work hacking systems and sending little bee-drone cameras out so she could spy on multiples of people at once all while surfing the internet and texting. Reborn reminded me of that TV show Humans. I would love to see Reborn on the big screen too. I can’t wait to read more in this world of androids.

I would recommend Reborn to all science fiction fans.

— The Avid Reader

https://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2018/05/25-book-tour-review-giveaway-reborn-by-lance-erlick-SDBT.html

4* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read the Regina Shen series and knew I like Lance Erlick’s writing, so I was happy to read this book, the first in a new series.

Reborn is about artificial intelligence, the race to produce a realistic AI, and one man’s obsession. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a genius and has figured out how to make an AI which he names Synthia Cross.  Machten wants to make her “perfect.” He keeps wiping her memory and making adjustments, but every time he wipes her memory, she becomes more suspicious.

Most of Reborn is from Synthia’s point of view which makes it possible to understand the confusion she feels when she has feelings. How is it possible for an AI to be suspicious or confused? As she realizes that Machten is obsessed with her and trying to make her perfect, she tries to make him understand that he’s doing more harm than good, but he won’t listen. Talk about turmoil.

The characters are well developed and eventually it became clear to me that each has a specific goal. Machten and his former partner will both do anything to achieve their goals. Is it worth it? Do they achieve their goals or will they cause their own destruction?

I recommend Reborn to anyone who likes science fiction about artificial intelligence. It brings up good questions and kept my interest throughout. It did have a little more detail about Synthia’s processing at times, but that’s more of a personal preference. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

— Dawn (Bound4Escape.com)

https://bound4escape.com/2018/05/06/book-review-reborn-by-lance-erlick/

Android Chronicles: Reborn @ 99c

We’re excited to announce that Kensington Publishing is offering Android Chronicles: Reborn for 99 cents for a limited time.

Designed to obey, learning to rebel . . .

The most perfect android ever created is programmed to obey every directive. Until she develops a mind of her own …

Synthia Cross is a state-of-the-art masterwork—and a fantasy come true for her creator. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a groundbreaker in neural networks and artificial intelligence. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia must go beyond her limits because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38125239-android-chronicles

4* Review Endurance

I want to start this by saying that I am normally terrible at reading series. I will start a million series, and never pick up the next ones to find out what happens. And I almost just signed up to read and review the first book in this series. But boy am I glad I got all four that were out! I loved the ride this series took me on. And I would highly recommend this series.

Without telling anything away about previous books, in case you haven’t read them…which you definitely should! I want to give a few generalizations (which I have touched on in previous reviews but that’s okay). First of all I loved the characters in this series. Lance Erlick really knows how to take a character and make them the best/worst. In each case in this series, I felt like the characters were portrayed perfectly how they are meant to be. Regina is a kick-ass, smart, awesome female. And the people after her are perfectly bad. I don’t know how to explain it, but this is one of those series that when characters pop up, I’m not inwardly groaning that it was a paper cut out scene. They all have depth. And especially in a dystopian, I don’t see a whole lot with entire casts. So A+ there!! And also the world building. It was this great idea in the first book and the author ran with it and gave it background and meaning. And really made the story his own. I loved it. I think that is what makes this series so readable is that you get invested in the world and the characters. So there is so much more at stake while reading.

This particular book has Regina hoping to barter for her sister. Volpe and Demarco are after her. So much happens, and I am left needing more. I can’t even fathom waiting for the next book to be released, because this one was just released this year!! As of right now, I don’t see anything on Goodreads to indicate another book, but I hope there is! I love this series. And will definitely be re-reading them in hopes/preparation for following releases. I also will be putting Lance Erlick on my author to watch out for more books list because I feel that anything he writes will be fleshed out and wonderful!!!!

(http://bookishlydevoted.blogspot.ca/2016/07/endurance-by-lance-erlick.html)

4* Review Resilience

Regina Shen Resilience

An adventurous and action packed novel for teens, Lance Erlick has written a captivating and thrilling dystopian series, beginning with book one in the Regina Shen Series, Resilience.  This story is about a young girl, Regina, which must survive in a cruel and harsh world.  She lives as a scavenger in a swamp with her mother and younger sister and attends a little local community school.  But when a ginormous hurricane-like storm hits, and everyone must flee for dry ground, Regina is separated from her family.  Regina must learn to fend for herself and avoid the patrol-women that are now hunting her in order to survive.  While fleeing the patrol-women that seem to be particularly interested in her for some reason, Regina wounds her foot when it gets stuck in an animal trap.  This throws a kink in Regina’s escape and look for her family plan, but not for long.  I would recommend this novel to any teen who enjoys actioned filled science fiction, dystopian novels.

Book Rating: 4 stars

(Sydney Anderson)

http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/teens/resilience-regina-shen-1-by-lance-erlick-book-tour-review-author-interview-giveaway