For the last decade, Appalachian artists have worked to take back their stories from a world that seemed more than happy to let the stereotypical tropes of the region drive our national discourse about the area, and its people.
I knew going in the ending would probably feel stilted at best, but everything else along the way was a great ride. I couldn’t wait to have the story unfold, and I found most of the main characters interesting enough to want to follow along
Cline has the corner on this flavor of the Gen X-flavored science-fiction. In many ways, Armada was more enjoyable that Ready Player One. The story was more intimate, driven by the main character’s connection to his lost father.
Mark Watney is the most enjoyable main character and narrator in recent memory. Andy Weir did a masterful job creating the character, and making me really care about what was happening (when what was happening was seriously just a bunch of engineering problems.)
Ernest Cline has written the definitive Geek Culture novel, bringing together every seminal game, film, and reference into a cohesive — if not culturally specific — story about a boy, an online game, a world, and technology.
Never mind the plot holes. Superposition, string theory, and universe hopping require some quantum leaps of faith. Still Dark Matter is a fun, dark look at how our choices (the ones we make; the ones we don’t) shape everything.
This isn’t to say the story wasn’t interesting. The sheer nature of the disregard and disrepair in Walls’ childhood compelled me to turn the page. But the writing felt as though it worked against the story.
Of all the books, papers, and reflections on design thinking that I’ve read, Change by Design written by Tim Brown, the current CEO of IDEO, is the best at both explaining the process that teams go through, and the reasons for using this process.
It’s main thesis is that people involved in entertainment — from creators on through executives — must change the way they calculate value. Today’s metrics can’t simply rely upon how many people watch, read, or listen to something.