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In our continuing series of mini-interviews, we talk with authors who have a story in our forthcoming collection WAY OF THE LASER: FUTURE CRIME STORIES, recently reviewed positively by ALA Booklist! Today, we talk to Caroline Cormack, who’s story “case_solve” was mentioned by the Booklist reviewer as a standout story, and it’s a fascinating balancing act between algorithmic thinking and locked room murder mysteries. We asked Caroline a few questions about her cool story.
Management: Can you tell our readers a little about your story and where you got the idea for it?

Caroline Cormack: case_solve is a classic locked room mystery except in this story, the detective is an artificial intelligence algorithm. I got the idea after reading an article on the applications of deep learning. I originally thought it would be a regular story with human police with snippets of deductions from the algorithm, but then I challenged myself with taking the risk of writing it all from the algorithm’s point of view. To be honest, I’m still amazed I managed to make it work, it was a really daunting idea when I started!
Management: Do you have any upcoming or newly released titles that you would like to share with our readers?
Caroline Cormack: I wish! Sadly all my forthcoming books remain in a drawer of unpublished drafts, but I’m working on it.
Management: What’s one new book that you have read recently and loved, or that you are looking forward to reading?
Caroline Cormack: It’s not new (translation pub’d in 2015) but I’m currently reading The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, which is completely blowing my mind with the way astonishing scientific ideas are woven into a mysterious plot filled with great characters. Rather less hard on the old brain cells, at the weekend I devoured the latest John Sandford hard back: Masked Prey. I’m a huge fan and had intended to save it for later this week when I have some time off work, but I couldn’t resist!

 

case_solve 

by Caroline Cormack 

06/05/32 06:31 Drone15386 reports no answer at property 5B72. No action required 

06/05/32 06:31 Drone15386 reports no answer at property 5B72. No action required 

06/05/32 06:32 Drone15386 reports delivery failure at property 5B72. Requests access 

06/05/32 06:32 Accessing property 5B72 security protocols… 

06/05/32 06:32 Recorded delivery instructions confirmed, absent delivery permitted, initiating security override… 

06/05/32 06:34 Drone15386 reports anomaly at property 5B72 

06/05/32 06:34 Accessing Drone15386 visual feed, scanning data for anomaly… 

06/05/32 06:35 Identification: human, prone, unmoving 

06/05/32 06:35 Visual identification confirmed, Christine Dunkas ID 678-76865-D, registered resident of property 5B72 

06/05/32 06:35 Initiate image search, parameters, all databanks, categories human, female, prone 

06/05/32 06:35 Primary inquiry: Review images and discard any with lower than an 85% match 

06/05/32 06:36 Secondary inquiry: Categorise images with over 85% match to current image 

06/05/32 06:36 Image categories: 15% human, sleeping; 28% human, injured; 57% human, deceased 

06/05/32 06:36 Reporting possible human, deceased at property 5B72… 

06/05/32 07:05 Security override initiated at property 5B72, code entered A45$32 Rejep, Elias, Coroner… security override accepted 

06/05/32 07:25 Security override initiated at property 5B72, code entered L677!2 Bainbrigg, Sarah, Police Officer… security override accepted 

06/05/32 12:32 New case file opened

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Categories: interview, Our Books, Short Story Collections

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