Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match" where we introduce you to authors you may fall in love with. It's our great pleasure to present Nina Schuyler!
Afterword is a love story wrapped in artificial intelligence. A woman loves a man so deeply and for so long, so that when he dies, she refuses. She just says no to death. She’s a mathematician and a pioneer in AI, and strong-willed and wants what she wants. She builds his voice and the conversation continues into the long arc of time, until he begins doing unspeakable things.
Me: a lover of books, of stories, who loves to be transported to another world, time, place.
Also: to gain such proximity to a character that I know him or her better than my mother.
And: there’s the desire to read to escape, but more often to experience another way of being in the world.
What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match:
- First, that you are a reader makes you ideal. You’re wonderful! Gorgeous! Reading is an act of communion between the writer and the reader. Words put on a page are dead until the reader’s imagination revives them. It’s as simple as that, and without you, an author is alone in a room, fantasizing about someone like you.
- With the world plunged into artificial intelligence and ChatGPT, you want to understand it: how does it work? What might it do? How might it change your relationship to death? To loved ones? You want to consider whether you’d like to continue speaking to your deceased beloved. What will happen to the sense of time passing?
- You want to experience the intensity of love that endures over decades and hardship, fed by love and joy and immense, astonishing happiness.
- You want to experience two people falling in love, not through physical attraction, not at first, but through ideas; to experience eroticism that sparks from two people talking.
- You want to walk the streets of Japan after World War II, and again, in contemporary times.
- You want to travel to Beijing.
- You want to think about: how is it possible - is it? To fall in love with a machine?
What to expect if we're compatible:
- You’ll find yourself believing again that love over years and years and years is possible. Not only possible but rich and deep and passionate.
- And that Grace Paley was right, that there are some people who have enough character for a whole lifetime together, which turns out is really not long at all.
- There might - it’s my hope - be an opening in your thinking that a human can form a relationship with a machine.
- And the relationship can be meaningful.
- You’ll find, or rediscover, all the ways that, as James Baldwin said, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us.
- You might find that this love story haunts you.
A pioneer of artificial intelligence, Virginia Samson rebuilds the voice of her dead lover, Haru, allotting him qualities he once had as her math tutor in Japan. With his voracious appetite for learning and knowledge, Virginia gives him access to the Internet, where he consumes Mandarin, physics, Shakespeare, newspapers, and more. When she’s approached by a Chinese-based company, she licenses Haru’s underlying algorithms so they can build Best Friend, which is an AI voice companion for the aging population. For some unknown reason, Haru begins spying on ordinary Chinese citizens, handing over incriminating information to the Chinese government. Alarmed, Virginia frantically rebuilds him, and in the process, discovers a terrible secret that shakes her love for him, causing her to face the dilemma of whether to keep him or kill him.
A pioneer of artificial intelligence rebuilds the love of her life, but when she discovers he’s been feeding incriminating civilian information to the Chinese government, she’ll have to decide whether to keep or kill him.
When approached by a Chinese tech company, Virginia Samson is moved to give them her beloved’s algorithm so they can create an AI companion for the aging population. Soon her digital lost love starts spying on Chinese citizens, funneling the information to the Chinese government. When Virginia frantically tries to rebuild him, she uncovers his terrible secret, forcing her to relive their beautiful and tragic love affair.
Afterword explores what it means to be human and is a moving testament to the deeply human desire for belonging, companionship, and love.
Literature and Fiction Literary [CLASH Books, On Sale: May 23, 2023, e-Book, ISBN: 978-195590470 / ]
Nina Schuyler’s short story collection, In this Ravishing World, won the W.S. Porter Prize for Short Story Collections and The Prism Prize for Climate Literature, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2024. Her novel, The Translator, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her novel, The Painting, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and Stanford Continuing Studies She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons, where she hikes, bodysurfs, and writes in a small room, looking out at a tall palm tree.
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