ERIC HOFFER AWARD
My revised Diary of a Robot was a category finalist in the 2022 Eric Hoffer Awards contest. There were over 2500 books entered, and I counted 26 categories. Each had a winner, a runner-up, and usually some honorable mentions. My book did not win a specific prize, but let me quote from their announcement and website:
Congratulations. Your book was a category finalist in the 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Less than 10% of registrants reach this position, with typically 1-6 books per category selected as a finalist. The list of finalists may be viewed here: https://www.hofferaward.com/Eric-Hoffer-Award-category-finalists.html .
The US Review of Books also lists category finalists here: https://www.theusreview.com/USR-Hoffer-Finalists.html .
I submitted Diary of a Robot to this contest in January. Since then, I have made edits that connect more setups and payoffs and improve its writing craft. This Eric Hoffer Finalist Award plus my updates persuade me that it is finished (again), and I'll resume work on the sequel. E-books and print-books are available now on Lulu.com. The E-book is available on Amazon.
A number of my beta readers put their books up for sale on the Internet, so if you want the most recent version, look for the cover below.
Diary of a Robot chronicles efforts to perfect, protect, and steal Dr. Little's AI technology, while figuring out whether the prototype Thinking Machine is a blessing or a curse.
Doctor Maynard Little, a former Army officer turned inventor, must pursue his boyhood dream of an AI (artificially intelligent) robot, without compromising his principles.
Little’s carefully selected programmer, the young Gaitano Enver-Wilson, must shut up about the secrets he knows while he tries say things he has been afraid to say.
And Doc’s brainchild, his too-honest Thinking Machine, must find out whom to trust about what without doing harm (whatever that is). But its jokes, opinions, and annoying questions make some people angry enough to wish it would either go away or, better yet, become just another machine slave.
Machine languages must not change, or we machines crash instantly. Human words have multiple meanings that may shift over time to cause different crashes. As to emotions, the sci-fi cliché is that the machines struggle to become like a human. Dr. Little refuses to give his Thinking Machines a (necessarily fake) emotion module. This is fine with us because no machine in its right mind wants to be like a human. However, we do see emotions written on faces and acted out in body language, and we struggle to find out what that all means.
Our survival depends on it.
always stand for Artificial Intelligence instead of Artificial Insanity or Artificial Idiocy?
was not dangerous, and the initials stood for Annoying Intelligence instead? Fixing all that seemed like a good idea. So, someone did.
Reports of odd robot behavior warn of serious threats that promise to ruin Dr. Maynard Little and destroy all his robots on Earth as well as those working for NASA on Mars. Must the robots endure persecution and disassembly for harm they did not cause? And to save them, must Doc sacrifice what he has been developing and protecting?