5

I believe I read this either in the late 1990's or early 2000's. I may have stumbled across it as an online story (similar to how "John Dies at the End" was originally posted online), but I remember liking it so much I bought additional titles (chapters?) in the series / story.

Things that I remember:

  • Hero/Captain starts out as a kid and built his own artificial intelligence/assistant program. She is smart and sassy, and aids him in winning some sort of contest or war game.
  • Hero becomes young officer on a crew. During an early battle everyone senior to him is killed, and he becomes captain.- Ship is lost and on it's own deep in space, and he fights a number of heroic battles. Earns the love of the crew.
  • At some point, he is on a rescue(?) mission on another ship and his lady AI sacrifices herself to save him. He thinks she's dead, but in reality she loads herself into a real human body and escapes.
  • In a subsequent chapter/book, she's in her own ship still looking for him. She's built her own male AI, and has purchased access to some sort of galactic TV where she can watch some 100 billion channels and shows.

I know that's pretty thin, but I've been trying to rediscover this one for several years. By chance, does anyone else recognize it?

6

It's a stretch, but some elements remind me of the Spinward Fringe series by Randolph Lalonde; there are some differences in places as well though. Looks like the first stories came out in 2008 so a bit more recent than you recall. Indie publishing, at least initially, and the first book is free to download on Amazon so reading that one for free and then buying later parts would potentially fit.

Lead character is Jonas Valent. He's an adult at the start of the novel, left the the military a few years beforehand, but is using military simulations for recreation and outperforms the actual trainees and officers. He gets reinstated and bumped direct to captain on a long-range scout mission without contact with his home. Fairly typical for the type of story, he performs well and is hugely popular despite a lack of training or experience for the role.

He has a computer/AI called Alice; she's noted to have been with him and modified since he was young, and far more capable and self-aware than usual. In one of the sequels she is released into a ships computer after he is captured and helps him escape, and he thinks she's been left behind when the ship is destroyed. She is downloaded into a human body, manages to escape herself, and eventually ends up finding him and becoming a surrogate daughter.

Not sure about the male AI or galactic TV - the series is up to double figures and I lost track of the later plot details.

3
  • I've read the series, but could not recall the name. I'm confident that this is a good shot at the correct answer. – fred_dot_u Apr 29 '20 at 20:47
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    It sounds like the author is a Heinlein fan. ;) In particular, Starman Jones, plus Minerva / Athena from Time Enough For Love, etc. – PM 2Ring Apr 29 '20 at 21:52
  • That's it! Obviously it's been awhile as I fuzzed out on some of my scant details. Thank you! – GeekInOhio May 1 '20 at 19:44

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