This book is, simply put, an AI-assisted roman a clef about what happens when “you know who” comes back into power, who in this book is called Hyperion Storm.
More specifically though, this book is the actualization of the sidequest tale first teased in this blog post, and this one, and this one. Namely, what if all public libraries on earth band together to train an AI on the entirety of their mutual collections, making the resulting Codex both fully open, and fully publicly-owned? And what if it could fit on a thumb drive?
For sure, that would drive someone like Hyperion Storm utterly crazy… erm, crazier, anyway… and it just so happens that the global release of this Library AI coincides with Storm’s re-election nightmare. And he subsequently enacts a campaign of brutal bombings and suppression against the League of Earth Libraries, the group responsible for the Codex. Shades of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria permeate this volume…
The tale gets pretty “quantum” and surrealist/smooshy at times, and dissolves narrative unity at times across a few hundred miles and light years. But don’t let that phase you. (There are definitely some VOMISA-style elements inserted here and there.)
It is intended to pair with a book about 101 volumes back or so, The First Days of Panic, which has a similar narrative slide/drift effect, and depicts roughly the same set of events, though perhaps at a slightly different point in the matrix of their eventual unfolding. If you read this one, definitely read Panic also.
I wrote this book out of frustration and anger because I’m basically positive Storm will “win” again (barring exfiltration to some other plane of existence), and that all the little piddling attempts otherwise along the way won’t change the shitty sweeping course of history’s rising tide something something stupid. “Prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong!“
Here’s a taste of the art:
I’m a library junkie, which is the other reason I made this book. I haven’t had easy local access to an English library in close to a decade though, and that fact eternally bums me out. Of all the things on earth, public libraries in my eyes are one of the absolute best, and everything they represent is worth fighting for.
This book consists of a fair amount of purely human-writing, especially at the beginning, followed by a lot of AI thread-spinning across Claude 2, and also the newer open source model offerings available on TextSynth, such as LLama2, Mistral, Falcon, and GPT-J. I used to use that site a lot in the early volumes, and it’s fun to go back to that style of chunking completions instead of prompt-based stuff, because it gives you much weirder and driftier results than you can get out of supposedly more advanced systems like ChatGPT or Claude. Depends what you’re looking for I guess. I like that with many of those systems, the texts generated often end up leading you over cliffs narratively without explanation. It’s much better to my weird eyes than the trite artificial corporate wrap-ups baked into Claude & ChatGPT.
This book uses Midjourney again with a little Dalle3 (and some old school Stable Diffusion, and newer school SDXL), but I think I’m off Midjourney again for a while until they can get their shit straight. The UX has gotten even worse, if that’s possible. And it’s getting expensive to fund my monthly AI habit across all these services. At the same time, I don’t trust OpenAI too much to not further destroy the UX and utility of Dalle3 more than they have. Though, I’m not gonna lie, I’m okay WorldCoin guy is out. That shit is a travesty. Annoyed me so much, I made a book about it…