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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of This World Blog Tour--Gary Starta

Please Welcome Gary Starta! Mr. Starta will be giving away three ebooks so make a comment!

My inspiration to write the novel, Gods of the Machines, basically comes down to one word of inspiration: sentient. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sentient as ‘feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception or thought.” The ability to feel defines our consciousness as humans. It is what distinguishes us from other devices capable of thought or calculation i.e. computers. And although that line of separation, the inability of your laptop to feel emotion, is pretty thick at the moment, there may come a time when that line will either be blurred or crossed. Maybe you are skeptical that robots or perhaps, androids – beings that resemble humans – will ever exist in the way we see them in movies such as I Robot. But there are signs that technology is advancing and that robotics is becoming more and integrated into our everyday life.

The latest cutting edge cell phone operating system is called Android or Droid for short. Although a phone is a long way from a walking, talking android, it seems to show the very idea of such technology is seeping into the consumer consciousness. In Japan, actual android/robots have been created! They have skin made of silicon, and sensors allow them to react. They appear to blink and even breathe! But what they don’t possess is sentience. And because they don’t, I believe these creations will be ripe for exploitation. Robots are already in use in battlefields. Androids such as the life-like creations in Japan may be used for servitude as well, perhaps as nursing aides.

So the idea of robots is really not that extreme or fantastical. For the most part, they are here. Will it be all right to use them for servitude? Most every science fiction story of the last half century portrays them in that manner. Think of Bicentennial Man. But in that movie, there is a difference because that robot evolves, so much, that it actually becomes human. Still, the robot is portrayed as a servant, although its owner treats it with respect.

Will humanity treat robots with respect once they grow in number? People who perceive them as mere machines such as a computer will probably dismiss the idea of expending emotion on objects. But others may feel compelled to interact with androids as if they were human, even if they don’t possess self awareness or are unable to feel genuine emotion.

In Gods of the Machines, the androids James Starkman and Juanita Lopez will find love. Each sympathetic to the other’s plight, neither find themselves totally accepted, and worse for Starkman, he is the prime suspect in a murder investigation. In this future, robots have yet to attain the full rights of humans. But as they inch closer to this goal, the idea that androids can love each other and that humans have had sexual relations with them almost makes it absurd that these beings aren’t considered humans. They are just another kind of human; instead of biological, they are artificial. But both can love.

Find more about Gods of the Machines at


  1. I have long been fascinated by the concept of artificial intelligence and where exactly one draws the line between automoton and sentient being. Like Asimov, it looks like you use AI as a vehicle for exploration into the human condition, which opens the door for much interesting speculation (especially when it involves the level of emotion that one associates with romance).

    GODS OF THE MACHINES sounds like a great read, and I'm definitely adding it to my to-read list.

  2. Very interesting inspiration. Think of how far technology has advanced just in our life times--what will it be for our grandkids?

    My grandmothers grew up on farms with wood heat and outhouses, milk cows and chickens in the yard. Someday our lifestyle may look just as antiquated to our grandkids!

  3. Having read Asimov's Robot books in elementary school, I've long been facinated by them too.

    I'll look up your book because it sounds like something I'd really enjoy. Thanks for the interview!

  4. Robot and what we use may them for is an interesting concept. I look forward to reading you book.

  5. Thanks for the insights, everyone.

    Gary Starta

  6. One of my favorite sci-fi romances that deals with the themes of sentience and androids is Catherine Asaro's ALPHA. It explores the idea of an android developing sentience at the point in her life when she also falls in love. I highly recommend it.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for all the comments. I would like to give everyone a copy of Gods of the Machines in e-book format.

    If you would like a copy, email me at and put GIVEAWAY in attention line.


  8. Actually, the great Isaac Asimov had some references to this in his later Robot books. I'm scratching to remember which one - but basically, it was pretty hard for a mere mortal to compete sexually. I like the idea.

  9. I wonder if they'll ever be able to program a sense of humor into an A.I.

    If not, I'd have a hard time ever having romantic inclinations towards one.

  10. Watched Blade Runner again the other night. The ultimate extension of the robot/android story.

    Gary, thanks for the giveaway offer. I've had my eye on this book for some time.