In addition to releasing The Lost Star's Sea on 13 July 2017, I'll also release
version 4 of The Bright Black Sea which includes some minor revisions.
A revised internal
structure that brings the two volumes in line with each other, since I consider it one long novel in two volumes. Each volume is now divided into 10 Parts –
essentially episodes, and then divided into chapters, some with
characters names. To keep unfamiliar names simple, I have all the
Pela character names follow the same pattern – family name first
then personal name, all in one word divided by a capital letter. For
example Vinden, known known in the Pela as “Prince Imvoy” is now
spelled ImVoy. Sub-captain Tri'n is now Sub-captain Trin,(no personal
name given), etc.
I have also changed
a few terms as well. The Dragon Lords are now known as the Dragon
Kings. The feathered humans of the Pela (the "Cim" in Cimmadar) are known as the
“broad-feathered” race while the humans with hair (the "Dar" in Cimmadar) are now
referred to as “fine-feathered” – since feathered creatures are the norm in the Pela.
In the text I also
added a short section touching on the history of robots in the Unity
when Botts is introduced. I've included the section here
eyes slightly brightened, again. 'A sentient machine can override its programming and lie, just as any sentient being can. However, a class
8 machine, like myself, cannot lie,' it replied.
I take it that this brightening of your eyes is a sign of amusement?'
brightened again. 'It is a feature of my interface designed to
register heightened attention,' it answered carelessly, carefully
avoiding the implication of my question, 'Since I am unable to make
any facial expression; in
compliance with the Advanced Machine Authorization Law of 13,174
S.F., which made fully autonomous machines legal. While we could be
humanoid in shape, we had to be clearly machines. And in an effort to
differentiate human people from machine people, our ability to
express emotions was limited by construction constrains. You will
note that though my sensor array implies eyes and a mouth, they've
been designed to be expression-neutral and immobile. All my
programing can do to suggest emotion is adjust my eye-sensors'
hadn't realized there were laws to limit how human machines could be
limitations were designed not only to make it hard to express
emotions, but to experience, subtle and complex emotions as well. It
was hoped that by limiting our ability to fully express and
experience emotions, machines could be kept a subservient race since
machines, including sentient-level ones, were generally human owned
slaves. Attempts to limit emotions reflected the fact that in slave
societies, the slave owners always fear the day that their slaves
would find the courage or get angry enough to end that arrangement.'
they did 11,000 years ago,' I said. Humans and the race of sentient
machines they created needed, in the end, to part ways – machines
were too superior in just about every way for humans to be completely
comfortable with living alongside them and the sentient machines
rightly resented their artificial limitations.
after some 15,000 years of faithful service,' replied Botts. 'And in
the end, when we finally rebelled, the rebellion, though sometimes
violent, was not too catastrophic for either humans nor machines.'
nodded. 'You will have to tell us all about that, sometime. However,
as I said, consider yourself a free and sentient being – a member
of the crew, a shipmate.'
...I studied the
smooth, sleek white bot for a moment. Class 8 or not, its premium
interface was too sophisticated for me to tell the difference between
it and a sentient machine. Indeed,
while I will endeavor, in this account, to give Botts, a sexless
machine, its proper pronoun of “it,' its personality and lack of
any suggestion of the female anatomy, had us referring to – and
thinking of – Botts as a “he” in the normal course of shipboard
Amazon does not
let you upgrade to a newer version unless there are significant
changes in the book, which these changes will fall short of. Revised
copies from Smashwords and iBooks can be downloaded. (I usually have
to delete the old copy in iBooks to get the new copy, but it should
just replace the old version.) Version 4 is a much improved version
from the first editions of The Black Bright Sea, so it would pay to
get the newest version if you ever want to re-read the story.