View Poll Results: Did you spot the gender change for Vulture?

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  1. #1

    Question Sex change for Vulture

    Did anyone else notice the sex change for the Vulture AI in the Cormac series? In Brass Man it was female, but in Line War it's suddenly male.

    ‘Not a complete ship,’ replied Vulture. The little survey ship’s AI voice was female and silkily sexy.
    - Brass Man-

    ”Vulture himself had once been an artificial intelligence running a ship of the same name.”
    - Line War -
    It really bothered me when I read the entire Cormac series in sequence within a month. Did I miss something important somewhere or is this just a continuity error?

  2. #2
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Hadn't noticed that, Crusader, so kudos to you.

    I suspect though rather than a continuity error, it's something that the AI's can change at their will (or their captains?)

    Rather like the voice on some sat navs: you can change it when you feel the need.

    I guess that like humans they might sometimes feel like a change: this is their version of it!

    Mark
    Mark

  3. #3
    The problem is that it's never mentioned in the books, unlike with Iain M Banks where people changing form/sex is very prominently mentioned.


    SPOILER BELOW


    My biggest problem with it is that at this stage it is no longer an 'AI mind' as such. This is after Vulture becomes an actual Vulture thanks to Dragon, and thus I'm assuming it has a female body as well. So a simple state of mind change wouldn't make much sense.

    Only midway through Line War does Vulture become an AI mind again when Crane embeds it in a ship again.

  4. #4
    Hmm, I completely missed that in Line War - vulture continued to be female for me which made it seem more likely in it's role looking after Crane and such...

    In any case are the AIs really male or female just because their voice is such? It may help for us to apply preconceptions to them so works well as a device but I don't think I applied a gender to them in the same way I do a human.

  5. #5
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll fess-up. Somewhat of a continuity error I could have sorted with just a sentence. As a ship AI Vulture was given the voice of the pilot's ex-wife, as an actual Vulture it became 'he'.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Okay, I'll fess-up. Somewhat of a continuity error I could have sorted with just a sentence. As a ship AI Vulture was given the voice of the pilot's ex-wife, as an actual Vulture it became 'he'.
    Ah, but that doesn't resolve the problem completely.

    In Brass Man the vulture version of Vulture is also a female.

    Vulture wondered if the body she now found herself in was a punishment, due to the failure of that attempt, or a sample of draconic humour.

    Perched on an earthen tower thrown up by some termite equivalent on this world, Vulture tilted her beaked head and inspected her talons. She then extended one wing and began to groom its shabby feathers.

    ...The thing about watching watchers, Vulture felt, was that no one had invented a greater exercise in futility. She was bored out of her avian skull and beginning to do the most ridiculous things to keep herself entertained.

  7. #7
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Okay, I give in - you've won.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Okay, I give in - you've won.
    Sorry. It's one of my more irritating problems. I tend to get fixated on little stuff.

  9. #9
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    I too am a pedant, but cock-ups are inevitable over a million and more words. I must ask the publisher about the possibility of changing things, but doubt I'll have any joy. Then again, should I spend my time revising old books or write new ones?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    I too am a pedant, but cock-ups are inevitable over a million and more words. I must ask the publisher about the possibility of changing things, but doubt I'll have any joy. Then again, should I spend my time revising old books or write new ones?
    You know what the answer to that one would be. Of course we want new ones! It's easier to look past a minor mistake when you know you've got new stuff to look forward to.

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