Indie Authors – William Hertling

Singularity Series by William Hertling

To continue spreading the love about indie writers, today’s post is about William Hertling, a completely different kind of author than Jay Bell. William Hertling writes near-future science fiction, and his Singularity series starting with Avogadro Corp: The Singularity is Closer than it Appears has an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and its interaction with humans.

I’ve read a few cyberpunk/A.I. novels, especially older ones, that seem quaint and funny today (*cough* Neuromancer *cough*), but Hertling is not just a writer with a fairly good grasp on human psychology, but also a software developer who has interesting and realistic ideas about how Artificial Intelligence might come about, how A.I.s might think, and what kinds of motivations they might have. The scenarios he writes are all too plausible, made more so by the future world he has envisioned which is not so far from our own. It’s not a big leap to imagine living in the world that he has created, and his overall message is something we should be thinking about.

His novels are classic science fiction, focusing more on the science than the characters, so although the human characters are realistic, their characterizations don’t go very deep. However, his depictions of the A.I.s are some of the best and most realistic that I’ve ever read, so that the relative shallowness of the human characters doesn’t really matter. They are, after all, not really the stars of the show. I am very familiar with computers myself, so none of the technology is strange to me, but I think he keeps it simple enough that someone with a less technical background could understand what’s going on.

I’ve read the first two books of the Singularity series so far and am looking forward to reading the rest. Avogadro Corp deals with a singular A.I. and its birth, development, and interactions with its creator, while A.I. Apocalypse deals with the development of multiple Artificial Intelligences and the formation of an A.I. culture. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the communications between the different A.I.s and the thought processes of the A.I.s while they are dealing with humans.

If you enjoy realistic science fiction, and are interested in Artificial Intelligence, I highly recommend checking out this author and his Singularity series.

Book spiderwebs

I recently stumbled onto a blog about self-publishing from David Gaughran, which has some really useful information about marketing books and working with the algorithms of E-Book publishers. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re planning on self-publishing.

In one post, Who’s Pointing At You? David introduces a tool that promises hours of amusement for nerds like me looking for an excuse to procrastinate (ahem) marketing analysis tools: It’s a visual representation of  the “Also Bought” connections related to the title you type into the search field (change the default search from “books” to “kindle store” if you want to see the Kindle recommendations).

David has a good explanation about why you would want to keep track of the connections that your book has, but since I don’t have anything published yet I amused myself by plugging in a couple of my favorite books into the search and got nifty spiderweb pictures to show for it. For instance, here’s the web for 1984 from George Orwell:



Many of the connections to and from 1984 are to other dystopian novels and classic literature, which isn’t surprising. A closer look reveals a cluster of Cliff Notes, which makes sense considering it’s often required reading in literature classes:


My Muse says I better stop surfing and looking at pretty pictures and get working on that revision so that I have something of my own to look up!