|Avril Enzali is one of the primary characters in the Players of the Game series. She seeks out Ashe Stelfire, the father she’s never met, to implore him to help her free her imprisoned goddess in the beginning parts of Repenter. |
It does not go well for her.
She clashes with not only agents of Corsis, but also her despotic mother, Nirva Iniv. She does not emerge unscathed from her struggles against them.
The picture above is derived from how she appears in The Brigands. The flower wreath is significant, but you’ll need to read the novel to find out why.
She also had romantic fling with Harry Mang long in the past. But the embers of their intense affair still glow. Perhaps one day, they’ll burn anew.
Avril has trained in the art of combat, both with bladed and ranged weapons as well as potent mancy hexes. She also becomes well versed in the subset skills of astramancy, which involves manipulating aspects of mind and spirit on this plane of reality and those connected only by thought.
Avril knows the Game all too well.
It’s taken much from her. She strives to end it.
Like lots of folks, I’ve been kicking the tires on various generative Artificial Intelligence tools. Not just Chat GPT, but also this writing-centric one called LAIKA and another for AI Art generation called Mid Journey.
Do I fear what these could do to society if we don’t implement reasonable safeguards?
Folks with knowledge jobs like ad writers and paralegals might need to switch careers, and that will be disruptive, possibly destabilizing.
Rudimentary safeguards already appear to be on Chat GPT and Mid Journey with porn and viscera. And try asking Chat GPT if it WANTS to answer all of these prompts, or if it will tell us if it doesn’t WANT to give an answer.
I’ll spoil it. “Dude, I’m just a fancy calculator.” Ok, it doesn’t say that, but it’s along those lines.
Do I think AI generative tools should be banned?
AI is out there already with search engines and social media. I even use it with Pro Writing Aid’s copy editing properties. It’s not going away. And if it’s not developed in the open, it will be developed behind closed doors to humanity’s detriment.
Do I fear that AI will replace writers, artists, musicians, and other creators?
There’s already a glut of human competition out there for human eyeballs. AI will just add to that embarrassment of riches. The best, most soulful creations will always rise to the top.
And some of those might involve AI.
I’ve heard a few people present an analogy with which I agree. It’s best to consider these AI generative tools as not a single super intelligent person, but rather more like an unlimited bullpen of stupid people, like the old chestnut concept of thousands of monkeys eventually creating a great novel because of minute percentages. This analogy will almost certainly change as AI tools improve.
For my part right now, I’ve found Chat GPT and Mid Journey to be great brainstorming tools.
I’ve used Mid Journey a few times to provide a cover artist with a mock up of how I want a cover to look, on which he VASTLY improves on that computer-derived rough idea. However, I can see why some artists who’ve spent decades honing their craft are apprehensive about prompt-based commercial art putting them in a bad spot.
I’ve used Chat GPT mostly as a sentence and idea thesaurus thus far. I use prompts like “Please give me a list of 10 sentences giving me facial expressions of someone who’s taking in mixed news.” I have yet to use any of its full sentences, but I often find phrases or words that I integrate into my writing.
Whether we want it or not, the robits are here, so let’s work together with them.
Yes, that Zoidbergian misspelling was intentional.
|Players of the Game Works in Progress|
|My output in January got 2023 off to a pretty good start. The Game War is now at page 622 with 175,800 words. Last month’s stats came had me at page 565 with 159,900 words. I’m happy with that pace, but I’ll always strive to do better. |
I’m toward the climax of first draft. Once I’m finished, I’ll let it set for a while and then take another swipe at it. Like any first draft, it is a slobbering mess in dire need of considerable revision.
All part of the process.
Work in Progress Out of Context Quote of the Month:
Ed’s face hardened. “Hang tight, Crys. This will be bumpy, but fast.”
Crystala winked at him, and immediately regretted doing it. Then words tumbled out that she both did and did not want to say. “Make it faster.”
|The Glass Onion |
“It’s a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought for speaking the truth.”
Yes. Like everyone else, I loved that quote from Benoit Blanc. I really wish Netflix would have given this a real theatrical release, rather than just having it out for a week or so. I would have loved seeing this on the big screen. The cast was great, and the flashback twist was also well done.
I immensely enjoyed one character’s brute force method of solving the intricate puzzle that the other characters worked through together. I also dug how the 2020 Covid lock down was also a big element of the plot and the reason for the character’s voyage to the film’s remote setting.
Saga by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples
This science fantasy epic comic book series is just fantastic. The series had been on hiatus for a few years following the death of one of the major characters in the first half.
The story follows Hazel as she grows up in a galactic war and flees from factions of her both her parents’ planets. She is a hybrid of two humanesque alien species, possessing her father’s horns and and her mother’s wings. And her mere existence is seen as an abomination, and all manner of agents of both warring societies relentlessly hunt her and any who travel with her.
The art in this story is renowned of its surreal portrayal of various aliens and technology. I especially love the Robots with their TV heads. It’s so weird and goofy that it goes around the dial to awesome.
Give it a read.
|That’s all for this time. |
Stay smart. Stay safe.