Book review: Headcrash by Bruce Bethke

HeadcrashHeadcrash by Bruce Bethke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My, how things change, and how they stay the same.

Headcrash tells us the story of one Jack Burroughs, a sysadmin for a multinational conglomerate, who keeps his day job only because it finances his excursions into cyberspace, where in virtual reality he is cool dude MAX_KOOL instead of a nerd. Unfortunately, due to internal politics and the innate inability to keep his mouth shut at inopportune moments, Jack loses said day job. Thus unemployed, he plunges head first — or butt first, as the case may be — into his virtual world, eventually taking on a commission to do a little cyberpiracy in exchange for a considerable remuneration. The fact that he’ll be looting the database of his former employer has nothing to do with his acceptance of the job. Nope, nothing at all.

Written in 1995 and taking place in 2005, the storyline is somewhat dated and improbably technologically advanced from the perspective of 2011. And, being neither a gamer nor a computer geek, I can’t say whether the virtual reality environment as depicted here is realistic or even possible. The story moves at a frenetic pace, with hardly a break to catch one’s breath. Regardless, it’s great fun, full of inside geek jokes and pop culture references.

And seriously, how can you not like a book that begins:

C:\DOS
C:\DOS RUN
RUN, DOS! RUN!

View all my reviews

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