A dark space adventure with a dash of Wittgenstein in it. Features: depressed, C-team crew, a bored-as-fuck AI poet, an actual alien AI, first contact, giant furry sloths. It's also a love letter to Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress.
The AI poet was an actual AI poet: see OSUN / The Poetry Machine. The Salvage Crew became an Audible and Washington Post bestseller and made The Earthbag Homestead feasible.
The Salvage Crew was a technical step forward for me in exploring my human+AI thesis; for this book, the voice of the machine poet was a GPT-117M that I retrained (see OSUN/The Poetry Machine); the galaxy and the planet were generated by bits of code; and so were the characters and quite a few of the events, including weather. Here’s the Foreword, which explains it all.
I’ve since explored possible AI+human directions on Slate, Wired, and for Google Research.
Some interesting reviews for the Salvage Crew here. Overall: pretty happy that people have picked up what I laid down.
From this comment I made on Reddit on a post about the Salvage Crew:
Thanks for reading! I consider it to be a standalone, but the story of contact is not yet over.