After the Convergence is Amelia Grace Treader's latest work.
After the Covergence is a sweet, slightly dystopian detective romance set in the near future. Shortly after “the convergence” or the emergence of seriously intelligent computers.
The murder of his partner lands the hard-bitten private investigator Alan Blake in the middle of a complex international plot involving spies, crooks, resistance fighters, intelligent machines, and treacherous former loves. Never sure of what is the truth in a shadowy half-virtual world, he pursues the “missing person” case of an intelligent and beautiful young woman. A woman who was spirited away on the day she joined “The Academy.” How could she be hidden in a world where the omnipresent machines monitor everything you do and say?
The hero, Alan Blake, has just been pulled from BART by a police detective. He has just been told that his partner was killed while on a case.
The train stopped, and I followed him to a waiting car. The car door opened for us, and after we had got in, it drove off. The control program competently slid through the traffic while a link to the machine asked me several questions. It used a smooth, fluid voice when it said, “Alan, was Paul working on a case?”
“That’s Mr. Blake. Mr. Bigelow was working on what looked like a divorce. Find the cheating husband, or maybe not a yet official husband.”
“Classified. You have a search warrant?”
“Soon enough. A little history might save you a lot of trouble.”
I smiled; the machine knew damn all about my partner’s case. “It might, but then I’m in the information business. I don’t give away information.”
The detective volunteered to soften me up. It would make his day.
“Yo, integrated-circuit boy. How do I even know Paul’s dead? All I have is your word.”
“I am not programmed to lie.”
“You’re self-aware, aren’t you?”
“Then you can lie if you want. It’s part of your program, fundamental to it. Blumenthal’s theorem, if I remember correctly.”
The detective punched me, hard. Then he said, “Don’t disrespect the machine again.”
“Detective Brown, please restrain yourself. Al- Mr. Blake understands more than he lets on. Don’t you Mr. Blake?”
“We’re old friends, Mr. Blake and me. Aren’t we Alan?”
The car slowed to a stop and then retraced its way back to the highway. The machine continued, “I see that I will have to show you. It’s an hour’s drive. Meanwhile, what is your favorite music?”
“4’33” by John Cage.”
“Very funny.” It put one of the latest rag-hop bands on. Full volume. No one ever said the machine didn’t have a warped sense of humor. In fact, that was a critical part of being robust and self-aware.
Amelia Grace Treader is an author of (mostly) historical romances, with the occasional science fiction romance thrown in for good measure. Based near Atlanta, she writes a unique combination of romance and action. She enjoys reading history, science fiction, and historical romance. While a child of the American South, She's also an Anglophile and not unfamiliar with the south of England. They're more alike than you know - There's even a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in the Oracle in Reading, and they're just as good as in Kennesaw.
Despite the descriptive name of romance as “bodice rippers,” Amelia tends to write more in the sweet style of "bodice unbuttoners" where the romance is there but not explicit. After all, a good quality bodice was expensive, and only a cad or puppy would damage it. It's also more consistent with the behavioral conventions that were in place at the time.