Before the term 'software engineer' was invented I used to be a computer programmer. I earned
a living by building information systems and I loved my job. But I'd always had a hankering to be a writer and I'd dabbled in story telling more than once, with notable lack of success.
When I finally retired from the stress-filled rat race that was the IT industry in the mid-noughties I decided I'd finally write that book.
After a few weeks of writing, I threw my virtual manuscript at a virtual wall.
The problem was the main character who could interact with computers with her mind, sort of like… magic. With my IT background, that didn't really appeal. And I didn't like the setting. It was all too… fairy tale in space. And slow.
So, I dreamed up a new backstory. Imagine something not unlike the machine wars in Terminator has destroyed the fabric of the first world planets. Human kind has fought back and re-established itself. The Cyber Wars are now centuries in the past. But the lesson had been learned. Sophisticated society needs computers but there would be no artificial intelligence that could repeat the previous destruction. To make sure nothing like that could ever happen again, specially modified humans were used to act as an artificial intelligence but in a limited, strictly controlled way. These Supertechs created all the apps in the Confederacy's systems and kept the Fleet's warship systems going.
Meet Morgan Selwood. A supercomputer was embedded in her brain at birth and a few other modifications were made to make her a Supertech whether she liked it or not. Supertechs were supposed to be subservient, obedient
individuals who did what they were told. If they strayed from the path – well –
they were exterminated. After all, mistakes DO happen, but not tolerated.
Morgan was a mistake.
feisty and difficult and exceptionally good at what she does. She also hates,
loathes, and detests Authority – especially admirals.
I wrote a short story about Morgan's first posting after she scraped through her Fleet Academy training. It's called Supertech.
She’s a Supertech, bioengineered from birth, fresh out of the Academy and tasked with designing a control system for an experimental fighter. Morgan’s up for the challenge but there’s more to the job than meets the eye. The Fleet invested in her education but did they train her for … this?
Ensign Morgan Selwood was almost too good at her job and far too casual about Fleet rules and regulations. Tasked with designing a control system for an untested attack fighter seemed like a dream come true and a real career booster. But the specs and modules tell only part of the story—what Morgan discovers can put not just her career, but lives at risk.
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Then I got to work on her main story – Morgan's Choice. The book's name has changed several times, Morgan's name has changed several times, and the story has changed, too. Given the current penchant for titles like 'The Alien Admiral's captive' and such, perhaps I should have called the book "The Alien Admiral's Cyborg". But it was always going to be about Morgan going far beyond her own world to undiscovered parts, where she would have her adventures, and meet a man who could match her.
Oh - that story I flung at the virtual wall? After a few revisions and rewrites it was finally published as The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy.