A few centuries in the future, the adventures of a tramp spaceship from the Disconnect. . . .
The background of the two human cultures, and the history (including a major disaster that affected all of mankind, even those who escaped it), and their interaction with AIs comes out slowly in the course of the events. It started with Michigian "Mitchie" Long getting Pete Smith to a spaceship, where he can escape to the Disconnect from charges of conducting AI research. She can't come -- she goes to another ship, to get a job as a pilot, and we catch her lying there. Most it follows her and the ship; there are some interludes about Pete.
The incidents tend to the episodic, though there is some cause and effect between them -- well, a tramp spaceship can't be too fussy about cargo. And consequences of that include, at different times, landing on a comet; dealing with pirates; contracting to take Pilgrims of various stripes, who are willing to risk the AIs; cooking up different recipes of algae crackers; facing a renegade hunter who maintains there is no law on an unsettled planet, and much more. Several large issues are resolved at the end -- though there is clearly room for the sequel that's coming.