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The Salvage Crew cover art

The Salvage Crew

By: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
Narrated by: Nathan Fillion
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Summary

Award-winning actor Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle, The Rookie) brings to life a snarky artificial intelligence you won't soon forget. Don't miss his hilarious performance in a story perfectly crafted for sci-fi fans of The Martian, Red Dwarf, and We Are Legion (We Are Bob).

They thought this was just another salvage job. They thought wrong.

An AI overseer and a human crew arrive on a distant planet to salvage an ancient UN starship. The overseer is unhappy. The crew, well, they're certainly no A-team. Not even a C-team on the best of days. And worse? Urmahon Beta, the planet, is at the ass-end of nowhere. Everybody expects this to be a long, ugly, and thankless job.

Then it all goes disastrously wrong. What they thought was an uninhabited backwater turns out to be anything but empty. Megafauna roam the land, a rival crew with some terrifyingly high-powered gear haunts the dig site, and a secret that will change humanity forever is waiting in the darkness.

Stuck on this unmapped, hostile planet, lacking resources, and with tech built by the cheapest bidder, the salvage crew must engineer their way to payday...and beat Urmahon Beta before it kills them all.

©2020 Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (P)2020 Podium Audio

Critic reviews

"Yudhanjaya Wijeratne's ingeniously crafted The Salvage Crew starts with a comforting science-fictional familiarity, before using its A.I.-co-authored idiosyncrasies to hurtle headlong into the gravity well of its considerable ambition. A novel of meteoric energy, flaring brighter and brighter as it falls further into its world." (Indrapamit Das, Lambda Award-winning author of The Devourers)

"A classic sci-fi adventure wrapped around a deeply philosophical core. With skillful plotting, interesting details, and a motley crew of humans and A.I., it's a story that embraces its meta-origins...with an ending worth waiting for." (S.B. Divya, Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated author of Runtime and Machinehood)

"With animation and wry humor, Fillion introduces listeners to OC, an artificially intelligent yet poetic overseer...with tenderness and sorrow [he] conveys OC's dawning realization that their mission has turned into a nightmare. Fillion's talents are undeniable...." (Audiofile Magazine)

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What listeners say about The Salvage Crew

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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing book. Well read.

I loved this book, great story and well read. Occasionally hard to follow but amazing!

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  • Overall
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Weird but Good!!!

Prepare to have your ideas about A.I. challenged. This wonderful story is bleak in places but still leaves you with a glow & positive perspective of what human/A.I. interaction could be.
Nathan Fillion is a delight. I really enjoyed the sometimes choppy mechanical delivery when pulled me closer to believing the nature of OC.
Great job everyone who was involved! I really enjoyed this listen. Thanks xxx

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun story, narration can be a challenge.

The story was great, an enjoyable yarn interspersed by poetry of varying quality. Fillion's narration was challenging at time, with unusual pacing. It was conversational internal monologue, but I found I needed to turn it up and concentrate a little harder to make our what he was saying.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, mediocre story

Nathan Fillion did a great job, however the story owas a bit disjointed and the poetry was in particular very obnoxious and broke the tempo. Also the very few twists and crucial developments in the story we're not that significant or unexpected to make you go wow

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Loved the story, the twists and turns. Loved Nathan Fillion narration - the right voice for the story. The story is thought provoking and the language paints a picture in one's mind. I could not wait for the next episode to start to see where we end up. Brilliant performance & brilliant writer.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Strong overall, but a little confusing.

An excellent performance from Nathan Fillion in a story that had me constantly wondering what was going to happen next. There are a few shock moments, and generally, the plot is quite strong.

Admittedly, I found some of the universe/AI talk very difficult to follow, and some conversations between them I end up losing who is speaking at what time. I did find the final moments slightly underwhelming, but equally, it has left the story somewhat open for your own conclusions/thoughts or a hefty sequel.

Overall, I would say I found the beginning-mid section quite strong, but it fell off slightly as it came to a close. Despite this, it is certainly worth a listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Hard SciFi but accessible for those not of the genre

Very smart in its approach and it’s story. The world building is clever and the ride is worth it. Small band of salvagers on the raggedy edge. Wonderful performance from Captain Reynolds

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A refreshing, at times comical, survival story.

Other than the sultry tones of Nathan Fillion, I wasn't sure what to expect from this story. The blurb suggests a comedy on par with Red Dwarf and Hitchikers Guide, and I guess there are elements, but it surprised me with something much deeper. It's philosophy. It's sometimes poetry. It's often funny but, it is not a comedy.

Nathan Fillion clearly loves this story and he demonstrates flawless understanding of authorial intent in his narration. Compelling and entertaining, comical and thoughtful, this story was such a break from the norm.

At only one point did I feel the story stagnated but it was brief. The narration is interdispersed with occasional complex poetry so, be prepared but don't fixate on understanding the prose, it isn't essential to the story. Enjoy it or let it flow over you, there's action and drama aplenty!

Plot: Following the trials and triumphs of a mismatched, underfunded crew on what appears to be a simple salvage op, the crew and their sentient, once-human AI, called an overseer, stumble on something that has much wider consequences, for them, the company and humanity as a species.
The sarcastic and esoteric AI must try his best to keep the crew alive while they work together (occasionally) to make sense of the situation and make the best of what grim existence can be had out here amongst the alien flora and baffling fauna.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning

An outstanding story. Exciting, engaging and beautifully crafted, as I’ve come to expect from Wijeratne. Excellent narration.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well worth your time

The narration is spot on, Nathan Fillion delivers a great performance and gives real life to the world. The story is a little rushed towards the end though the world building is very good. I hope to see more stories from this universe, doubly so if delivered by the same narrator

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