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Kate Rauner's short stories of scifi & fantasy

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Blast into orbit – Brash young pilot chases a nefarious probe – Join the adventure with a free kindle today #scifibooks #sciencefiction

Winnie Bravo, newly minted pilot, is brash, reckless, and more than a little annoying as she sets out to prove herself. Capturing a stealth probe that’s destroying satellites seems the perfect way to demonstrate her talents, but the mysterious craft escapes. Now, someone at her corporation’s lunar base is willing to kill to stop her.

Start the summer with a bang. Join Winnie’s adventures with a free kindle – limited time offer – Thursday/Friday/Saturday.

Click here now!

Please leave a review on Amazon. It just takes a minute and a few words – you’re not in school and this isn’t a book report. Help other readers find Winnie’s story by leaving a rating. Thanks!

Collection of Short Scifi and Fantasy Stories – Free kindle – get the paperback before Amazon’s summer price increase #scifbooks #anthology

Now in its third year in the top 100 of its Amazon categories Science Fiction Anthologies and Fantasy Anthologies, this collection by four wonderful authors (including me) is free as a kindle.

Prefer paperbacks? Get ahead of Amazon’s summer price increase on printed book! Order the paperback before June 20th and you’ll save about a dollar. Maybe a dollar isn’t a lot, but if it inspires you to read this great collection, it’s golden.

UPDATE: I see the price increases have started rolling out on Amazon weeks earlier than I expected! I have no idea when the increase will hit Stunning, or any other book you’ve had your eye on.

Stunning Short Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction available on Amazon – kindle and paperback – click here now.

More links! Amazon outside USA and more favorite online book stores! Click here now.

Do you want to read books written by robots? Do you care? #chatGPT #amreading

As a science fiction writer, this article gave me chills:

Open AIs CEO. Funny… he doesn’t look like a Bond villain.

The rising deluge of chatbot-assisted stories is now so bad that it’s even forced a temporary submissions hiatus for one of the internet’s leading science-fiction magazines [Clarkesworld]… According to Reuters, Amazon’s e-book store includes at least 200 titles openly listing ChatGPT as an author or co-author. popsci

You might wonder, how would that work? Something like, upload a popular novel into the AI, prompt it to change names and setting, and see what it produces. Get more skilled at prompting the AI (which some folks will say is a creative act on its own,) do an edit run-through (or not if you’re in a hurry,) and… poof… a book to sell.

What do you, as a reader, think? Do you care who or what or some combination creates the book you read? Should you pay full price for an AI-assisted book? Should the book-seller be required to tell you if an AI was used? If you enjoy the book, do you care?

I promise you, every word of every one of my stories (including the good and the bad) is 100% human-created – click here. If that matters.

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure – what to know about polls #polls #statistics

I’m bombarded by polling results that make cheap TV (that’s my opinion – I have no unique insight into TV. ) Roll out some results and ask a bunch of talking heads to comment. The more outrageous, the better the ratings, and the more likely that talking head will be invited back – maybe for money, maybe for a chance to push their latest book.

Statistics have bedeviled us since this guy started probability theory in 1713

Polls can be done scientifically. Even simple questions can be tricky to ask. For example, Do you prefer Candidate # or Candidate % ? There’s a human tendency to select the first option offered (in various sorts of questions, not just about politics.) If you are seeking information, you must ask half the people if they prefer Candidate # or Candidate %, and the other half if they prefer prefer Candidate % or Candidate #.

[You may] assume that the pollster is trying to collect accurate data. Are there any other purposes for polls and surveys, particularly in the way their results can be used? Of course there are. Learning something is not necessarily the reason many polls are conducted. Consider who hired the pollster, and why they were hired.

All of the complications that can skew the results of a survey or poll are problems that knowledge-seeking survey designers have to be aware of and account for; but to the spin doctor, or the political campaign, or the think tank, or anyone else in the propaganda business, they comprise a toolbox of nifty little tricks to get the data to say what they want it to say. Primacy bias is just the beginning. skeptoid

You don’t have to be cynical or paranoid to know the world is full of trickery. Check out more polling errors (or ways to spin results) by clicking on this Skeptoid article and podcast here. Primacy bias, acquiescence bias, context effect, sampling bias, mode effect, social desirability… all factors that affect a poll’s results. There’s a reason conducting sound, scientific polls requires professionals. Professionals seeking knowledge, that is.

Personally, I would add that I am suspicious of any presentation that tries to make me angry or fearful. Also, as an engineer, I learned to look twice at data that confirms my preference or my opinion, because no matter how satisfied I may feel in the short-term, reality will win in the end. Reality is important to me.

With the political season heating up in the USA, this is a good time to stop and ponder the news you consume, and not allow it to crawl into your head unexamined.