When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, his strangest and most gifted friend, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit. As the company's revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a software glitch, Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears -- and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.Learn More
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013
As the company's revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a software glitch, Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears -- and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.
A story of software development, friendship, and meaning
- I enjoyed Grossman’s superhero debut Soon I Will Be Invincible, and was looking forward to seeing what the past several years has done to develop Grossman’s authorial talents. As a software engineer myself, the idea of large software projects taking on lives of their own, mysterious glitches, the intrigue of lost, forgotten code emerging from the dark, is right up my alley, and I did very much enjoy this one; both as a “software engineer by day” who has worked for quite a long time in a big software project release environment, and as a gamer, this one really was quite fantastic: with apologies to Jonathan Coulton, this is what it feels like to write software for a living. I think some of the range of responses to this book comes from the book being pitched a bit as something that it wasn’t. Taken as what it was, and (again) as someone who writes and tests big software projects for a living, and grew up playing a lot of games similar to those that are featured in You, I loved it. If you go into it thinking it is going to be an AI thriller of international high stakes game development gone wrong, well then, you‘ve been sent down the wrong path. (For that, might I recommend Richard Dansky’s Vaporware, which is also more complex than that but also does have that? In fact, how about this: a reading list for gamers: Joel Rosenberg’s Guardians of the Flame series, Yahtzee Croshaw’s Mogworld, Stephenson’s The Big U and Reamde, Lev Grossman’s Codex, J.L. Hilton’s Stellarnet Rebel, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, Scott Meyer’s Off to Be the Wizard, and (of course) Austin Grossman’s You and Richard Dansky’s Vaporware. With two bonus levels, one for programmers, Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs, and one about the history of Dungeons & Dragons, David M. Ewalt’s Of Dice and Men.)
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