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The Salvage Crew af Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
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The Salvage Crew (udgave 2020)

af Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
635339,170 (3.59)Ingen
Medlem:snotbottom
Titel:The Salvage Crew
Forfattere:Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Forfatter)
Info:Aethon Books, LLC (2020), 302 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:**
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

The Salvage Crew af Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

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Viser 5 af 5
Narration was very good.

This story is told from the POV of the post-human AI Overseer and was written in similar fashion to "We Are Legion (We Are Bob)" which is a series that I very much enjoyed because of the first person POV and the somewhat irreverent humor (although you do get a POC change toward the end of the story). The voice of Nathan Fillion was pretty good here to get the tone of that humor; however, it was a little difficult to catch some of the POV/voice changes. The basic concept here is that some the first wave of interstellar colonists failed, so eventually 'salvage crews' are sent into to recover the valuable tech (not sure why that is more economical than just building more ... be hey, I can forgive a few such things). So the scene is set ... a lost colony and a small, private salvage crew of 3 meat puppets and a ghost in a shell. Unfortunately for the hapless salvage crew, somebody got there first and they don't seem overly friendly (or sane) ... And then it all goes pear shaped.

There is a lot of Sci-Fi tech described in this story ... and from my perspective, it was pretty solid (at least more so than most ... I would put it up against Expanse here); and I really enjoyed that aspect. That is until it goes weird when we get the machines talking to each other and it is harder to pay attention. This is really a solid 3.5 star story; but it hit all of the things I like, so I am rounding up.

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
This story is also available on Kindle Unlimited.
#TheSalvageCrew #NetGalley ( )
  Kris.Larson | Sep 13, 2021 |
This was fun, creative, very experimental and well written. I enjoyed the thought experiments the most, and I applaud the author for his experimental approach to the story.

Sidenote: If you don't want to know how this book was written before you read it, skip the author's foreword and read it after you've finished the story. I would have preferred that, so I'm giving you the warning I never got.

I also liked the worldbuilding, from the planet to the society and the different characters we meet.

Why only three stars, then?
The first and second part of the book are very different in terms of scope, pacing and general theme, without any transition. It felt off and left me wanting. I would have preferred for the first part to be its own book/novella and the second part to be more fleshed out in a seperate publication.
The characters, altough interesting, remain very flat and don't seem to progress, their actions seem random - actually, they are random, as explained in the prologue.

I still recommend you read this book, because there's a lot of creativity and great thought experiments in it, but I would have liked a bit more in terms of characters, story and consistency. ( )
  booksandliquids | May 3, 2021 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---
RED DWARF REMIX?
I'm not suggesting for a second that Wijeratne's mind worked this way (at least I don't mean to), but this is the impression I got as this started.

The Red Dwarf TV Show/Novels had a couple of great ideas at the beginning—an AI that ran the ship, that had a strange personality, an odd sense of humor, and wasn't entirely reliable. The second was that the ship generated a holographic officer based on the memories and personality of one of a dead member of the crew (whoever was highest ranking/most needed among the dead). A long time ago, it had been determined that AI with memories and real emotions actually perform better than those not based on actual humans.

Our main protagonist and narrator in this novel is an AI, made from the memories and personality of an engineer who served his whole professional life in space (after leaving his family's farm). He's now in charge of a small salvage crew for the company Planetary Crusade Service, sent to a tiny planet Urmahon Beta to recover as much as they can from an old colony ship that presumably crashed there.

His role is Overseer, and his crew nicknames him OC. This is OC's first command, if it goes well—and a few others—he can move up to a larger, better body/command. In a few decades or so, he could work is his up to a large ship, overseeing a major operation. Again, that's if everything goes well.

EVERYTHING DOESN'T GO WELL
OC is promised an "A-Team" of a crew for his first command. He doesn't get one. They're not a B-Team either. There are not enough letters to describe how far this trio is from an A-Team. For that matter, I'm not sure OC is A-Team material either—they land far off-course (turbulence during descent, we're told).

Almost instantly, the crew starts falling apart, ignoring orders and protocol. They begin to build a base to work from, but get distracted by things like indigenous flora and fauna, personality conflicts, and evidence that suggests they may not be the only salvage crew on the planet (there's a rival company with bionic operators with aggressive tendencies).

From a rough start, it gets worse, and the next few weeks are a spiral of cascading failure, disease, injuries, strife, crop failure, questionable vodka distillation, bargain-basement tech, and...well, I can't keep going. It gets messy, and what starts off as a quirky, comedic version of The Martian with a side of Red Dwarf turns into something tense, taut, dark, and suspense-filled. It doesn't stay that way, depending on how you want to count things, ends up taking one or two other overall flavors, while never completing shedding the offbeat humor that characterized the book since the opening paragraph.

POETRY AND OTHER QUIRKS
I'm going to focus on OC, rather than the rest of the crew (and they are all worth writing about) to keep this short (and because you really need to get into spoilers to do a proper job of talking about the humans). He is funny. There's a snarky, offbeat humor to his narration and dialogue throughout.

He's also a poet. I'm not saying he's a good one, but he is one. Frequently in Fantasy novels (particularly older ones that wear their Tolkien-influence on their sleeves), you get a lot of poetry/songs/etc., but that's rarely a feature of Science Fiction novels. The Salvage Crew is the exception to this rule. OC writes it, recites it to his crew to encourage them, he quotes and ruminates on other's poetry...he's the most poetic AI I think I've ever encountered in a novel. He's also a Buddhist, and will often apply that to his situation.

He also has the best curses. He's frequently letting off steam by cursing his crew, PCS executives, or local fauna to a horrible future reincarnation. I could have listened to some of those for a solid hour.

FILLION'S NARRATION
It's tough to say for certain, but I think that Fillion raised this about a star in my book (maybe just a half). It's his voice, his charm that hooks you in and gets you to like, believe in and root for OC. That said, at some point, I stopped thinking of this as Fillion, and just let OC tell me a good story.

It's not the best narration I've ever heard, but it's really good and it made me hope that Fillion does more audiobooks.

CO-WRITTEN BY AI?
So, there was apparently actual AI software involved in the writing of this. I learned about this when I started writing this post, and I'm not sure I understood everything I skimmed (I didn't want to take the time to read carefully instead of just posting this). I'm intrigued by this notion, but am relieved to see that the software only "helped" with portions of the book and that Wijeratne was the final word.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT THE SALVAGE CREW?
Roughly the first half of the book* is about what I expected—an amusing SF adventure—and was a lot of fun to listen to. The rest of the book isn't what I expected from the premise in terms of story or tone. And I was riveted. There are portions of the book that get into more philosophical territories, and while I wasn't as interested in them as I think the novel wanted me to be, they were really well constructed and told.

* This is an estimate, I didn't jot down notes about when the tenor of the plot/novel changes)

I'm really glad I took a chance on this book, I'll definitely listen to future audiobooks by Fillion (assuming any are produced) and am probably going to be trying some of Wijeratne's other novels. I heartily recommend it to SF readers/listeners. ( )
  hcnewton | Jan 27, 2021 |
Name: The Salvage Crew
Author: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Drama, Adventure, Space and Technology
Rating: 3.5/5
Review:
The service crew with an interesting science fiction novel. The protagonist, a digitised human is leading a salvage crew on an uninhabited planet for his second expedition. His team, which consists of Simon, an inexperienced young man, Anna, a girl who is running away from her real identity and Milo, cannot considered the perfect crew, not even a good one.
They arrive on a distant planet to salvage an abandoned UN starship. But when they land on the planet Urmahon Beta, they encounter something they never expected. The supposedly uninhabited planet is not at all what it was supposed to be. It is covered with dangerous megafauna and terrifying high-powered gear. Now, they have to encounter with their nightmare, they must save themselves while secrets that terrify humankind unfolds in front of them.
The protagonist is really interesting character, I likes his backstory as well. The characters are well developed in this book. The readers will be fascinated by the technology and society developed in the story.
I am giving this book 3.5 stars because I felt that the story did not get to me until the second last part of the book. While listening to this audiobook, I lost interest after chapter 10. But I had to get through the book. This book is perfect for the sci-fi lovers as well as space enthusiasts.
For Further Reading:
To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
The Martian by Andy Weir ( )
  Fatima_Anwar | Nov 30, 2020 |
Name: The Salvage Crew
Author: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Drama, Adventure, Space and Technology
Rating: 3.5/5
Review:
The salvage crew with an interesting science fiction novel. The protagonist, a digitised human is leading a salvage crew on an uninhabited planet for his second expedition. His team, which consists of Simon, an inexperienced young man, Anna, a girl who is running away from her real identity and Milo, cannot considered the perfect crew, not even a good one.
They arrive on a distant planet to salvage an abandoned UN starship. But when they land on the planet Urmahon Beta, they encounter something they never expected. The supposedly uninhabited planet is not at all what it was supposed to be. It is covered with dangerous megafauna and terrifying high-powered gear. Now, they have to encounter with their nightmare, they must save themselves while secrets that terrify humankind unfolds in front of them.
The protagonist is really interesting character, I likes his backstory as well. The characters are well developed in this book. The readers will be fascinated by the technology and society developed in the story.
I am giving this book 3.5 stars because I felt that the story did not get to me until the second last part of the book. While listening to this audiobook, I lost interest after chapter 10. But I had to get through the book. This book is perfect for the sci-fi lovers as well as space enthusiasts.
For Further Reading:
To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
The Martian by Andy Weir ( )
  Fatima_Anwar | Nov 30, 2020 |
Viser 5 af 5
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