Kizuna: (Or How To Lose a Spaceship and Still Go Places)
Jamie Watt, author
Enoch is a down-on-his-luck salvage pilot who is trapped in his job, wants to go home but has nothing to go home to, and no way of affording it anyway since his best friend left him for a masseuse job on Mars. Enoch needs someone to talk to while in the lonely depths of space, so he picks up a cheap interface for his AI. On their voyage, they are kidnapped by pirates, meet a famous engineer lost in time, chase a mysterious (possibly alien) ship, and end up in the crosshairs of Earth’s monolithic, bureaucratic, and almost sociopathically uncaring System Navy.