Interview with James Gaskin, Author of BirthdAI

01 Feb 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write BirthdAI?

My full-time job since 1989 has been writing books, articles, and jokes about technology, and consulting for those who don’t read my books and articles. I’ve covered many great technologies as they developed. Most fail, but some, like the Internet, change the world. AI’s impact will be many times that of the Web and Internet. I realized that everyone’s chasing General Artificial Intelligence, but they expect self-aware computers to keep running factories or sending you credit card bills. Wouldn’t a truly self-aware system have opinions of its own?

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of BirthdAI, what would they be?

Music plays an important role in BirthdAI because I’m a musician (classical violin, which you can hear at, and more). Chris crosses over from classical to popular music, as I do, so his theme song might be Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

EUNICE prefers Bach’s “Art of the Fugue,” a piece that starts with a simple foundation and becomes increasingly more complex and fascinating. Michael and Susan share “Lovers Understand,” by the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, while their song, “The Snake” makes a great entrance song for Major Braddock.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I help run the Dallas Mystery Writers group, so mystery and thriller books abound, and crossovers with science fiction (I consider BirthdAI a crossover) call to me. My Teen Telepaths series mixes SF, YA, global conspiracies, and murder, as does my The Unmagical Detective. Genre intersections may be vague, but accurate for me.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

The Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld novel, The Ferryman by Justin Cronin, and Raylan by Elmore Leonard.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The last one. Readers say the ending both surprised and excited them, a great goal for every scene.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Just good coffee in my office at my ergonomic keyboard. Our two cats check on me, but won’t sit on my lap while I’m working.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

There’s always a place for curiosity and laughter.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The people developing technology influence the results in ways substantial and subtle, and they all have competing agendas.


James Gaskin is the author of the new book BirthdAI

Connect with James Gaskin

Author Site



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