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.

Buy the book at Amazon

A Climate of Revenge by Tom Riley – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tom Riley will be awarding a PDF file of “Writer’s Guide to Our Climate Crisis” (International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sarah and JanetM, are a human/Artificial Intelligence pair who do private investigations in the near future where our climate crisis has hit and hit hard. A man with a long dark history tries to hire them but is then killed. His family hires the team to find who killed this man with a thousand enemies in a land with a million problems.

The United Nations IPCC report, “Climate Change 2022, Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability contains:

C5.3 Enhancing knowledge
A wide range of … processes … can deepen climate knowledge and sharing, including … using the arts … (high confidence).

This can only be read as a clarion call for writers to produce the works that will help our people cope.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Sarah walked out of the restaurant past the taxi lane and into the dark parking lot. The charging kiosks threw patches of dim light barely enough to walk by, but they lit up when anyone approached. If anyone was sneaking around in the lot, the kiosks would surely have given them away. There was no moon, the stars were just coming out, but the heat of the day was hanging on for a while.

The dinner appointment had been a waste of time, the ex-executive who had booked the table was only interested in hiring her to promote his I’m-a-good-guy-now agenda by getting the dirt on his enemies one way or another. Sarah had no patience with such greenwashing.

What did he call himself, Winestead? She knew she had heard that name before, but where? JanetM would have a complete dossier by morning. Anyway his story did not make much sense; he was hiding something. Only god knew what sins against the Earth this man had already committed.

Sarah was not interested in his building a new facade; he could keep his money. To make matters worse, the dinner was one of those little-food-and-fancy-plates affairs. The whole experience left Sarah feeling still hungry and irritable. The interview had gone on for much too long.

About the Author:

After an extensive career at NASA as an Instrument Engineer, Tom Riley started a people-based space program, The Big Moon Dig, compatible with the needs of our climate crisis. Our climate crisis clearly must now come first, and that effort needed positive stories of people in action.

Buy the book at iUniverse or Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway