Books = virtual travel

I get pinged by Goodreads to write a review every time I finish a book. Being the lazy sort, I don’t often write one, but occasionally I do. But…why add content (and in theory, value) to someone else’s platform when I could include it right here?

Right now I’m reading Cory Doctorow’s Attack Surface and I’m not sure why I waited so long. Not to read this book in particular, but to read any of Doctorow’s books. His tech-heavy, reference-heavy, attitudinal style is one I like quite a bit. Reminds me of Neal Stephenson or Charles Stross. I’m only halfway through Attack Surface but I already love it. At least four stars, maybe five. It alternates timelines, something my writers’ group has excoriated me for, so…yeah. Have some of that.

The main character in Attack Surface is a now-familiar archetype – the female super-hacker, first (?) made famous in Steig Larson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo. This hacker, Masha, is delightfully complicated inside her head. The novel is written in first person so we get a lot of what Masha is thinking.

There’s the usual glossing over of computer hacking, where the hero does things in seconds that just aren’t possible. But hey, it’s fiction. And it’s entertaining. Attack Surface is the third in Doctorow’s Little Brother series of tech/social/political disruption books, so I’ll have to go back and read the other two.

Reading has helped keep me sane (OK that’s arguable, but…how would I know if I weren’t?) during the pandemic, and I’m always grateful to find a new author with a trove of books to consume. We can’t travel much in the real world right now, but we sure can travel in our minds.

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