Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 2017
Genre Fiction
Origin US
Publisher MCD
ISBN-10 0374203105
ISBN-13 978-0374203108
My Copy library copy
First Read October 28, 2017

Sourdough



Oh, Sloan does this one thing really well that I love: he mixes very specific facts and very specific fictions and treats them exactly the same. I repeatedly get this little whiplash where he describes some thing, and I think: that's cool, I've never heard of that. Oh wait, is that ... a real thing? or a book thing? The Magz are clearly made up. But I know the Wiggle is real. SF's deal with goats is real. Is the Jay Steve oven real?

Noted on November 13, 2017

SO I love Sloan's short stories, and I've been following his work for a long time. When he wrote his novel Mr Penumbra, it seemed genetically engineered to be a combo of things I like. And I did like it! The combo of books, secret lore, some technology, San Francisco, etc - it was like catnip.

Sourdough is more of the same. Slightly different content, a more likeable protagonist, but really - catnip. I loved the descriptions of the bread process, I loved the description of what it's like to work in the tech world and not really feel part of the tech world (I suppose we all feel that way), I loved the incredibly optimistic beautiful modern-day HyperSanFrancisco he writes about.

If there's any one thing I'd complain about here, it's that Robin knows when he's got a great line, and repeatedly gives it a new paragraph break. It's not bad, it just seems to call it out, like dropping a pretty good joke and then waving your eyebrows at the recipient, like 'Eh? eh? See what I did there?'

Noted on November 13, 2017

Maybe that was my great weakness: if a task was even mildly challenging, any sense of injustice drained away and I simply worked quietly until I was done.

I guess I learned that in school.

Quoted on November 13, 2017

I felt the disorientation of a generous offer that in no way lines up with anything you want to do: like a promotion to senior alligator wrestler, or an all-expenses paid trip to Gary, Indiana.

Quoted on November 13, 2017

I wish I could say the moment was hazy or dreamlike, but I was sharp with the battle-readiness familiar to all humans of all eas woken by strange noises in the night.

Quoted on November 13, 2017

At my desk, I hooked it into a pair of monitors, a keyboard, a tablet with stylus. No mouse. I'd learned the tablet trick from one of the patient programmers at Crowley, who recommended it as a ward against repetitive stress injury. Here at General Dynamics, the wraiths regarded it strangely. They could not yet imagine their bodies betraying them.

Quoted on November 13, 2017

He boomed his greeting in a heavy, hard-to-place accent: "Good evening, my friend!"
Greatest among us are those who can deploy "my friend" to total strangers in a way that is not hollow, but somehow real and deeply felt; those who can make you, within seconds of first contact, believe it.

Quoted on November 13, 2017

Here's a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.

Quoted on November 13, 2017


Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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