Repermanent is #88 in the AI lore books series. (I can’t believe we’re almost to 100!) In a very real way, though, this book should actually be first, in order of writing, since the bulk of it was published on my old blog way back in 2008. Fifteen years ago!
I was not careful saving a copy of the complete orginal version (which was unfinished), but fortunately Archive.org had everything but three of the sixteen or so chapters as originally published. So ultimately I ended up sort of re-constructing or reverse-engineering or something from the surviving chapters (ever so slightly edited first) in order to make new ones in ChatGPT, or to lengthen here and there.
It’s still sort of an unfinished or perhaps open-ended narrative with many overlapping strands; I didn’t try to force it into taking any particular shape but tried to follow the spirit of what was there already.
Where I really had fun with it was in the image-making process in Midjourney. There were already call-outs in the original text to a 1950s aesthetic, but with like virtual reality and androids and stuff. So I really went for that look in the accompanying art, and am really happy with the results.
If I remember correctly, a fair amount of the original source material for the book actually came from a dream or series of dreams; my brain has been churning on these subjects for a long time. I feel often like producing these books is like chasing these old dreams (and some new ones), trying to piece together whatever my subconscious was showing me then, or has been since. Feels many times like a Jungian process of active imagination, of amplifying these subconscious bits and bobs, giving them bodies so they can breathe the air and express whatever message it is they are carrying.