One of the most embarrassing things a writer can do is use the wrong word. On Saturday, I was editing the passage in Wyvern’s Warrior when Thalina assesses Acion’s nature. At first, she thinks he’s a humanoid with augmented abilities. I thought “there must be a better word for a biological organism with mechanical or computerized improvements” so I looked it up.
There is. It’s “cyborg”.
Here’s the Wiki:
“A cyborg (short for “cybernetic organism”) is a being with both organic and biomechatronic body parts. The term was coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline.
The term cyborg is not the same thing as bionic, biorobot or android; it applies to an organism that has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology that relies on some sort of feedback. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, including humans, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism.”
“According to some definitions of the term, the physical attachments humanity has with even the most basic technologies have already made them cyborgs. In a typical example, a human with an artificial cardiac pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator would be considered a cyborg, since these devices measure voltage potentials in the body, perform signal processing, and can deliver electrical stimuli, using this synthetic feedback mechanism to keep that person alive. Implants, especially cochlear implants, that combine mechanical modification with any kind of feedback response are also cyborg enhancements.”
This means that my father-in-law with his pacemaker was a cyborg. Hmm.
The problem is that in Wyvern’s Prince and Arista’s Legacy, I had called Arista and Acion “cyborgs”, but actually they’re “androids”. Here’s the Wiki:
An android is a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like resemblance.
“Authors have used the term android in more diverse ways than robot or cyborg. In some fictional works, the difference between a robot and android is only their appearance, with androids being made to look like humans on the outside but with robot-like internal mechanics. In other stories, authors have used the word “android” to mean a wholly organic, yet artificial, creation. Other fictional depictions of androids fall somewhere in between.”
It’s not particularly reassuring that misuse of the term is common:
“Cyborgs have become a well-known part of science fiction literature and other media. Although many of these characters may be technically androids, they are often referred to as cyborgs.”
So, I ended 2016 realizing my mistake and started 2017 by fixing it. This, incidentally, broke one of my resolutions on the VERY FIRST day of the new year. I’d resolved to stop working on weekends, but there I was on Sunday morning, revising the print interior of Wyvern’s Prince and pinging my formatter to fix the digital files. I’ll see the humor in that soon, but not quite yet.
The files for Wyvern’s Prince and Arista’s Legacy have been updated at all of the portals, including my online store. The new versions are v2.0, and I suggest that you download them and update your files if you’ve bought the books in digital format. If you bought Wyvern’s Prince in print and want to get the new copy, comment on this post and I’ll send you an email. When you confirm your purchase, I’ll send you a new book.
If you downloaded the free sample of Wyvern’s Warrior in my online store, that file has been updated, too. You can download the new version—here’s the MOBI and here’s the EPUB.