It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes readers’ comments completely change the way I think and feel about certain things. After I published Neverness, one very insightful reader took me to task for treating human brains as computers, run by the programs that we call minds. Now, maybe we really are more machinelike than we’d like to admit. Maybe we really are nothing more than biological computers. But maybe we are something more. Our scientists and philosophers argue with great intelligence both sides of this debate. I, however, chose to accept as fact only one side of it, without considering it deeply – and worse, without acknowledging how I really felt. When I finally did, I realized that I believed that human beings are something much, much more than mere computers. That changed not only the course of my writing, but my life.
So feel free to challenge or change me. Tell me what you really think. If it’s a favorable comment, I’d like to hear it – who wouldn’t? If it’s a fierce criticism, so much the better. We writers are tough, or should be, and in the end, as much as we write to please ourselves, we have to please you.