Winter Blogfest: Tom Riley

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of “Dark Heat.” There are two prizes total, and each one will be given out to an entrant whose comment the authors feel best express the purpose and direction of the Sarah and JanetN books. 

ChatGPT-4 Turbo by Tom Riley

This year we got a big Christmas present in the form of the hot new AI, ChatGPT-4 Turbo. There is every reason to believe that AIs have already passed a social tipping point and major changes to society are now baked in.  

In our stories, strong AIs (technically AGI, Artificial General Intelligence), like JanetN, are well established but still expensive.  They are teamed with a responsible human being, Sarah.  They can appear on any screen but do not have robot bodies, as this would have too high a carbon footprint.

There are people who think they deserve to live and not be turned off on human whims.  There are also people who think they should all be killed off the instant they have lost their usefulness.  This conflict drives a lot of the drama in our stories.

Working in a near future where climate change has hit and hit hard, are Sarah and JanetM, a human/AI research team.

Their boring work for small businesses is disrupted when a friend/ex-lover vanishes; he was always a shady character. A major climate disruption in Southeast Asia has put the world into full food insecurity. There is great social distress over how much of America’s bounty should be committed. A black-market gang has hijacked a grain shipment intended for the devastated area. This action could endanger thousands of faraway people.

Our team thinks this gang is responsible for the disappearance of their friend too. The friend’s family offer to pay our team’s fee even if it is only to give the body a proper burial. The hunt is on.


Tom Riley retired from NASA a few years ago and continued coaching young people in STEM. It soon became clear that we owe our young people a better vision of their future in facing our climate crisis. This led to this series of now 3 books that take on that responsibility.

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