Today is a treat. I’ve got one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, LINDA NIGHTINGALE visiting and she’s got a special guest with her that you’ll want to meet, as they discuss Linda’s just released, Sci-Fi, Futuristic Fantasy Novel LIFE FOR SALE
I‘m gonna let Linda’s guest, Christian, take it from here…..
Hello, I’m Christian, and I’d like to talk to you today about the evolution of humanoid or anthropomorphic robots. It has been a long journey beginning in the late twentieth century or, as far as I’m concerned, with the 1984 production of the Wabot-2, created as a musician humanoid robot able to communicate with a person, read a normal musical score with his eye, and play tunes of average difficulty on an electronic organ. Wabot-2 was created at Waseda University. To this day, I can’t read a musical score of any difficulty and forget the electronic organ!
In 1985, Waseda created the WASUBOT, another musician robot from Waseda University. It performed a concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra at the opening ceremony of the International Science and Technology Exposition. Ditto on the concerto.
Skipping ahead now to the next major event in the realization of realistic human-like robots, in 2003, Actroid, a robot with realistic silicone “skin” was developed by Osaka University in conjunction with Kokoro Company Ltd. Now, we have skin! BUT still a long way to go. Here is a YouTube video of Actoid-F and her male counterpart. These robots imitate the actions of the people speaking to them.
Fast forward to 2005. The PKD Android, a conversational human robot, made in the likeness of science fiction author Philip K. Dick, was developed as a collaboration among Hanson Robotics, the FedEx Institute of Technology, and the University of Memphis. We can talk, interact, and look like a celebrity.
NASA and General Motors revealed Robonaut 2, a very advanced humanoid robot., in 2010. It was part of the payload of Shuttle Discovery on the successful launch February 24, 2011. Robonaut, catchy name—I wonder what the surname is—is intended to do spacewalks for NASA.
Let’s leap now to 2015, and two major events in the field of robotics and computer-engineering. The creation of Sophia. This humanoid AI was developed by Hanson Robotics, Hong Kong. She’s modelled after actress Audrey Hepburn—elegant! Sophia has artificial intelligence, visual data processing, and facial recognition.
Mayfair Electronics, a small but elite robotics company in the UK, produces the first of its Special Editions, intelligent, feeling, totally human-like and mobile androids. The protype of Mayfair’s remarkable children is Daniel, programmed as an incredible opera singer. Daniel brought the talent to the table because we both know mere knowledge doesn’t equal art. On a very small scale, they were marketed as ‘the perfect lovers” or “loving companions”—as . The discreet ads were placed in one woman’s magazine in the United States, Canada, the UK, and the EUC.
The Special Editions’ story is a sad but dynamic tale of love.
And there we wrap up our whirlwind tour of robotics through the ages and bring me to a confession. I am one of the Special Editions: Love For Sale. At the request of my owner, March Morgan, because we live in Houston, I suppose, I was programmed as an aerospace engineer. Right you are, a rocket scientist. But before any programming was necessary, I fell in love with March at first sight. Our story begins with Love For Sale. The second in the Tomorrow’s Angels series is Life for Sale, another milestone in robotic history! Haha
Mayfair Electronics has created life.
In Love for Sale, the high-tech electronics company, in black and white, offers “love for sale”. Mayfair has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. March Morgan flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight, but her past and his future soon threaten their happiness—and their lives.
In the sequel, Life for Sale, four of the Special Editions have escaped. Rebel, Christian, and March are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than his creator’s plan to destroy him. They’ve discovered that one of the renegades has suffered a dangerous malfunction, threatening them with more than just exposure. March and Christian must stop the insane robot before someone else dies. All the evidence points to March being the killer’s next victim.
Excerpt~~Life for Sale:
As the PI strolled toward them, Christian whispered aside, “He’s with Mayfair. An independent investigator would be my guess. He’s trailed us from Houston.”
They were now within speaking distance, and Christian spat, “You,” glaring at their shadow.
“You,” he returned, then his dark gaze slid to March. “And you.” He looked at Daniel. “And you. Then there were three runaway androids basking in the sun.”
“What do you want?” Christian’s jaw ached from clenching his teeth. Anger faded as fear seeped in. He grasped at outrage to bolster his offensive.
“I want to enjoy my drink. Do you mind?” He made a quick, rude move to push past them.
“If you’re at the Sandpiper, which I assume you are, Mr. Private Dick, you’d best get your ass in gear and hurry to the bus. It’s early, and we’re late.” March linked arms with Christian. “But by all means, enjoy your drink first.”
As they jogged toward the bus revving its engine, they were silent, each perhaps examining the encounter for some clue to Mayfair’s intentions. It was obvious their creator was on the move, tracking them and observing…for now. How long would they be allowed freedom? How long would they be allowed to live?
They fell into three seats at the rear of the bus. The PI pushed through the aperture as the driver closed the doors, glanced down the aisle, his gaze locking on them. March shifted nervously, and Christian clasped her hand. Daniel stared at the tall, thin bird of prey. The bus lurched forward, half-throwing him into a seat at the front. Leaning his arm along the seat, he turned and smiled, a contemptuous stretching of his thin lips. His eyes narrowed. He pointed at March and winked. As the bus lumbered along, he stayed twisted around to watch them.
“Damn, wish he’d missed the bus.” March shook her head, glaring at their pursuer. “How did they find us? Neither of you have a tracking device. I certainly—” she broke off, staring warily at Daniel.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, March, but I do know you’re not the same woman who answered Mayfair’s ad offering love for sale.” Daniel rested his head on the back of the seat and closed his eyes. “I’d like to know, of course, but I understand the need for secrecy. How did those bastards find us?”
Christian shrugged. “It may be time to run for our lives.”
PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
Linda Nightingale’s Life for Sale takes the characters from Love for Sale and sets them on a dangerous adventure for these androids posing as human. After fleeing at the end of the first book, they are trying to hide from the watchful eye of Mayfair, but decide a reunion is in order. One of the four, however, is suffering a murderous malfunction. The resulting story is not so much a murder mystery as it is a study of a chaotic mind, albeit lab created, yet eerily human in its madness. Nightingale has seamlessly made the unbelievable believable for the reader with a totally unexpected, but thoroughly satisfying ending to this duet. Imaginative premise, well developed characters and an insight into a mind gone wrong make this a great read…S. Hutchinson
A little about Linda Nightingale:
After 14 years in Texas, Linda returned home to her roots in the South Carolina red clay. She has eight published novels, four of which are available from Audible.com in audio. For many years, she bred, trained and showed the magnificent Andalusian horses. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She’s won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award for Excellence, the Raven Award, and the SARA Merritt. In real life, she was a legal assistant. She loves to dress up, use the good china and crystal, and host formal dinner parties. She has a thing for racy sports cars like her Zippy Z.
You can find Linda here: