We live in weird times. Technology is evolving so fast that it sometimes feels like magic.
I recently had a conversation with an author who wanted my take on the evolution of AI, particularly as it comes to the creation of prose (such as ChatGPT).
That’s a complicated topic. I’m not just a book publisher; I’m also a professor. I think AI text generation has its uses. I think it could be sure useful for helping people write cover letters, reference letters, business correspondence, that kind of thing. Especially for people who struggle with those.
But I recently took a test the New York Times originally posed to education experts (and the venerable Judy Blume) to see if they could tell the difference between a student’s writing and ChatGPT. And here’s the thing: I spotted the AI every single time. It wasn’t always easy, but humans are, well, human, and their strengths and weaknesses in writing are fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for. It’s still hard for AI to fully mimic those. Especially kids.
But the extent that AI gets close? Well, that makes machines seem rather like they’re using magic.
Which brings me to steampunk. And our latest StoryBundle. Here’s what curator Kristine Kathryn Rusch has to say about The Fantasy Steampunk Bundle:
The best steampunk gives us fantasy with an attitude and weird mechanical somethings or other. When we expect magic, we get machines. When we expect machines, we get magic. Sometimes we get both at the same time. We called this StoryBundle Fantasy Steampunk because most of the stories here are either steampunk, fantasy with steampunk elements, or fantasy that feels like steampunk.
The bundle includes three books exclusive to the bundle, all of them brand-new. The Victorians make a big appearance here, although we also have a story set in the Old West during the Victorian Era. A touch of H.G. Wells (the original steampunk writer) and some Orcs working in the Motor City, which, even though it’s set during Prohibition, feels steampunk to me.
WMG has three books in this bundle: The Reflection on Mount Vitaki: A Prequel to the Qavnerian Protectorate by Kris, Card Sharp Silver: A Cave Creek Novel by Dean Wesley Smith, and Fiction River Presents: Sorcery & Steam.
Add in the seven other fantastic titles, and the ability get all of them for just $20 and contribute to charity all the while, and what could be better?
You can learn more about the bundle here.
Machines or magic. Or both. You decide.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.