How close is the world of Synapse to the world we live in now?
Very close—except that there are cognizant robots that interact with humans and, in some cases, look so much like humans that it’s hard to tell the two of them apart.
What are the spiritual themes or questions running through Synapse?
Kestrel is struggling with her anger against God for allowing the loss she experiences early in the story. Jordan is questioning how to receive forgiveness for a past choice. I think that in all stories that matter, the characters will ask questions that matter. So, although my novels are by no means sermons in disguise, they deal with big questions about life, meaning, human nature, belief, and our relationship to God.
Incidentally, Scripture talks about all of creation praising the Lord, everything that has breath praising him, mountains bowing down and trees waving their branches in praise. In fact, Jesus said that if people stop praising him that even the rocks will cry out. I asked myself, “If a rock and a tree and an ant can praise the Lord, why couldn’t a self-aware robot?”
What are the best ways for readers to support their favorite authors?
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Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but with what they believe.
Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon. But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions Artificials were never meant to ask.
Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future—and into our own hearts.
Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.