Thanks all for the new reviews. It's really appreciated.
Of note, with respect to Military Diorama
( The Short Story ) - The US government just last week began seeking tenders for military weapons testing simulation software - basically a forerunner to the "Military Diorama" concept though clearly lacking the AI I created, but otherwise it was one of the premises I based the story on. Not that I knew they were going to do that, but I thought it was interesting.
Also yes, as you've noted it's mainly an AI story and is intended to examine the concept that the book is titled for. But try as I might, I really struggle for an "blurb" to describe it or a category to fit it into, so I wasn't trying to mislead anyone by calling it hard-science fiction, more trying to give an idea that things like physics mattered to the story. I took few liberties though to make the story flow well.
The follow up story has a lot more combat in it and has a more military theme as well, though I'll probably finish and release "The Hacker" first. ( Thriller )
In answer to why I haven't sought a print publisher, simply because I never even heard back from the few I've tried and from speaking to other authors ( and reading the comments of published authors ) I decided that I wasn't likely to get them even to read the first page of the manuscript. Publishers don't seem to be taking on new writers of late. Everyone seems to be looking for the next twilight or harry potter and I don't have magic or vampires.
And if finding a publisher isn't bad enough, I can't even find an agent who will read manuscripts.
So I decided to self-publish. And free/shareware? Well, I have enjoyed a lot of people's work over the years that they offered up for free or as shareware, so it's kind of paying respect to those others by contributing myself.
Some people donate, but even comments on the forums and reviews feel like appreciation so I enjoy them all
So Thankyou all for reading and commenting