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reconbot

reconbot@books.mxhdr.net

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The soul of a new machine (Hardcover, 1981, Little, Brown) 4 stars

"The Soul of a New Machine" is a non-fiction book written by Tracy Kidder and …

Cautionary tale of the tech industry told as an adventure story

4 stars

Still a wild tale, I’m no longer in awe of it and it’s obvious everyone involved got screwed and feels good about it (though that might be the authors bias). The love of the work “I’d take a pay cut to be involved in a project like this again” when already underpaid. It’s wild.

"West" one of the project leaders goes into “business development” answering the question “what happens to engineers over 40” writes Kidder. Fuck that. He doesn’t want to be exploited any longer, that’s what happens when you get over 40. Seems he’s still in engineering anyway consulting with other teams.

Overall this is a Wild take on a time in engineering that is not dissimilar to some companies today. I’ve worked at Data General clones, it sucks and isn’t worth it. Don’t get romanced. This is a cautionary tale told as an adventure story. I’m glad to …

The Bezzle (EBook, 2024, Tor Books) 3 stars

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a …

A long windy preaching road that is still kind of fun

3 stars

Not nearly as good as book one, however, still enjoyable, and a decent adventure. You gotta get through part one though it goes on for a long while. it’s all about rich people behaving poorly and the set up absolutely pays off. But it is a substantial set up.

I learned a bunch about financial crime, I learned a bunch about the prison system, I learned a bunch about rich people. I’m still excited for book three, but I hope it learns its lessons from book two.

The Mimicking of Known Successes (2023, Tordotcom) 3 stars

The Mimicking of Known Successes presents a cozy Holmesian murder mystery and sapphic romance, set …

Sherlock Holmes has nothing on M

4 stars

This is a fun sci-fi detective story placed far enough ahead that we’ve reverted to the sensibilities of 1800s England. That wasn’t my cup of tea (which they love) but the environment and story were amazing. I wish the detective was the narrator throughout (like the first chapter) but not doing so helps keep us in the dark much like her assistant ex girlfriend.

Well written and quite enjoyable. However the journey might be more enjoyable than the destination but I would absolutely read the sequel.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (2022, Knopf Incorporated, Alfred A.) 4 stars

In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. …

Beautiful and heartbreaking and tragic

5 stars

A wonderfully written story about the adult years of growing up, on a backdrop of the intense creative processes of video game design. I want these games to be real. I want to feel the characters expression through their art.

There are books where it’s a novel situation played out through understandable and straightforward characters. And then there are books where you have no idea how someone can keep so many deep actors in their head, you wonder if they were real people. Each character with their own motivations, and perspective. Sometimes I cheered for them. Sometimes I hated them. Always I loved them.

In any case, it’s a beautiful story. Heartbreaking and tragic.

Chaos Vector (2020, Orbit) 5 stars

Better than the first book

5 stars

Content warning Spoilers for book one

Zoe’s Tale (2015, Tor Books) 4 stars

A wonderful retelling of a fun story

4 stars

The previous book from the point of view of Zoe. Well told and a good reminder that you can excuse any retcon with teenagers not telling parents the whole truth.

In all seriousness it must have been written at the same time. Pages cut from the previous book perhaps. Which leads it to fit very well in the series.

Lots of fun and a good button to the series.