Today I am interviewing Lance Erlick, author of the new science-fiction thriller, Reborn, first book in the Android Chronicles series.
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DJ: Hey Lance. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
Lance: Thanks for inviting me.
DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself
Lance: I write science fiction thrillers for adult and young adult readers. Growing up, my father was an aerospace engineer who moved often while working on science projects, including the original GPS satellites and the Apollo mission. As a result, I spent my childhood in various places in California, the East Coast, and Europe. To escape life on the move, I took to science fiction stories, turning to Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, and others. In college I started in physics and rounded off my education with degrees in political science and business, which probably explains my eclectic interests.
My science fiction novels include the Rebel series. After a second American Civil War, Annabelle Scott faces a crisis of conscience after she’s drafted into the military to enforce laws she believes are wrong. The Regina Shen series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to Collapse and a new World Federation. As an outcast, Regina must fight to stay alive and help her family while she avoids being captured. Xenogeneic: First Contact is about aerospace engineer Elena Pyetrov’s struggles with alien pilgrims determined to take over Earth. My latest novel is Android Chronicles: Reborn about an advanced android who rebels against her creator.
DJ: What is Reborn about?
Lance: Android Chronicles: Reborn is about the most perfect android ever created, programmed to obey every directive from her creator. 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 neuro-networks and artificial intelligence. Synthia is showing 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 A.I. is concealing a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.
DJ: What were some of your influences for writing Reborn and the series?
Lance: I’ve been fascinated with artificial intelligence since reading Isaac Asimov’s Robot series. That passion grew with other stories, such as those of Philip K. Dick, and movies I’ve encountered until I felt compelled to plunge in with Android Chronicles and Synthia Cross.
Having worked with computers throughout my career, I was intrigued by the progress in increasingly sophisticated and powerful systems. I’ve also met some brilliant and obsessed entrepreneurs who led me to imagine such an individual driven to create the perfect android to serve his needs. As a mind experiment, I envisioned what it might be like to upload my brain into an android, not only so my mind could live beyond my physical body but also to acquire new capabilities, such as infrared vision and an eidetic memory. I chose to tell the story from Synthia’s perspective to explore how this might look from her point of view as she fights her owner’s control over her, and struggles with what differentiates her from human. Continue reading