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The Aremac Project Paperback – April 2, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gerald Weinberg loves to tell a good story, and the proof is his fast-paced new science fiction thriller THE AREMAC PROJECT. From its first provocative premise to its explosive ending, THE AREMAC PROJECT is a novel to read and remember. Not only does it have memorable characters and an intriguing plot, it also has warmth and humanity leavened with humor.

"It takes chutzpah to write straight to the heart of America's sorrow and anxiety over Islamic terrorist attacks within the United States. Weinberg handles this loaded topic with grace as he tells his story of researchers racing to recover accurate images from the human memory. His scientist and secret agent heroes are people you'd want to know, and his prime villain is an academic plodder that far too many of us have already met.

"Weinberg doesn't stoop to cardboard villains or cutout heroes. Each character in THE AREMAC PROJECT, of whatever ethnic origin or faith, is fully human. If we all lived with the compassion and wisdom Weinberg brings to his fiction, this would be a better world.

"I had only one problem with THE AREMAC PROJECT. Its exuberant tour of Chicago's superb ethnic cuisine -- kosher-style, Polish, Italian, Chinese -- left my mouth watering every time! Bring on the Mongolian beef and latkes and zuppa, but especially let's have more fine stories from Gerald Weinberg." --Susan Mayse, author of Awen, EWU Press.

About the Author

Inducted into the Computer Hall of Fame in its first class, Gerald M. Weinberg has written more than 40 books, including "Weinberg on Writing," named a finalist for the Jolt! Product Excellence Award and the USA Book News Best Books 2006 Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little West Press (April 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932633706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633705
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,773,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Drabick on April 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most of us have read a number of Gerry Weinberg's books on Software Engineering (e.g., Rethinking Systems Analysis and Design). This is Gerry's first foray into the field of Science Fiction. As an avid Sci-Fi reader, I found this book fascinating. While it's not in my favorite genre (military Sci-Fi ala Gordon Dickson, David Weber, Steve White) it's an interesting tale of genius inventors, criminal investigation, and unusual terrorists. Not wanting to give the plot away, I will say that while the book is cerebral in parts, it has a bang-up ending with a surprising "lead villain". The heros are somehow an interesting synthesis of logical scientists and lovable individuals, especially Tess and Addie. While the terrorists seem a bit wooden at times, I'm sure in subsequent novels, Gerry will flesh out the "bad guys" as well as he does the good guys.

Read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dlg on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you like science fiction, mysteries or thrillers, I highly recommend this book. I couldn't put it down.

This book makes for an exciting journey. The plot has many unexpected twists - a catastrophic misfortune, a new technology, a fight to get or maintain control over the new technology, and terrorism, to name a few. The main characters are sympathetic and believable techies. The other characters range from an ambivalent hero to a smarmy professor to seemingly evil terrorists. The technology is futuristic and believable and the short chapters keep it moving at a rapid pace. A great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Aremac Project is a novel from Gerald Weinberg, who is a popular non-fiction computer science author. The novel is a science fiction and you can feel the authors experience as a computer scientist throughout the novel.

The start of the book was a disappointment to me. For the first couple of chapters (each about 3-4 pages) it kept switching between different people and it was very hard to remember them all or to find out how they were related. It made it harder for me to "get into" the book. Though, after a while, it went better and the story started unfolding.

The story is about a young scientist who build a machine which can project people's memories so that everyone can see them. Because of his machine, he and his wife get involved by the FBI in the search for a terrorist group who has been bombing Chicago already for quite a while. They have one person is custody, but he is in coma and the FBI hopes to question him by using the Aremac machine.

Eventually Roger (the person who developed the Aremac machine that can project people's memories) stopped working with the FBI and started working by himself trying to revive his wife (Tess) who got disabled while trying the machine on herself. However, the terrorist think they might have some important information and thus they are not safe...

Of course, I'll not write the end of the book in this review, but can only say that the story takes surprising turns towards the end.

As said, the beginning was slow but then after the first 100 pages, the book started to be pretty engaging and I enjoyed reading it quite a lot. Sometimes I liked the insights the author had due to his background, yet sometimes the self-referrals turned me off quite a lot. All in all, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people who like reading SciFi novels, like... me :) 4 out of 5 stars due to the slow start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magnus Ljadas on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Gerald M. Weinberg has covered the area of systems thinking, writing, and secrets of consulting with a handful of books already. In the light of his previous publications "The Aremac Project" is perhaps an odd one - it's a thriller, not a handbook. "The Aremac Project" is a thrilling story about young geniuses, terrorism, FBI agents, bombs, a mind reading device, and above all it really is a story about a software development project. Software development is a rare subject in fiction, just Douglas Coupland comes to my mind. This is perhaps a story that could have been written by Coupland. Though Weinberg does not bend the language like Coupland does in his writing, the amount of absurdity in the story is on the same level.

If you've read any or some of mr Weinberg's other books you'll see pieces of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book. Like the "A Buffalo Story" from "The Secrects of Consulting". "He's like a buffalo. I can get him to do anything I want him to do, as long as he wants to do it." And there's a Robin Hood character, the "Bag Bandit", who teaches beaurocrats about queueing theory and systems thinking.

The heroes of this story, the two married genius hardware and software engineers, Tess and Roger, are assignend to a federal funded anti terrorism project, with the aim to develop a mind reading device, lead by professor Wyatt. Tess and Roger are of course not informed about the true origins of this project when they sign on the project, but the implications of the project are bound to make them aware soon enough. Professor Wyatt turns out to be utterly incompetent. In fact, you could read the book and use his examples as anti patterns for project management. Professor Wyatt isn't just an incompetent leader, he's a dangerous programmer as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dwayne Phillips on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading Jerry Weinberg's foray into fiction writing. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jerry for about ten years and his non-fiction writing for twenty years. As he reveals in his blog on writing (weinbergonwriting.blogspot.com), Jerry has returned to fiction writing as a way to spread some of his lessons learned from 50 years working in computers and other technical areas.

That was the source of my joy reading "The Aremac Project" - finding the gems of technical advice woven into the story of terrorists and hero technologists (yes, a book where the geeks are the good guys).

Among the good advice to use is:

People trap themselves in inefficient patterns and aren't likely to change unless something drastic happens to them.
It's is because software is easier to change that it requires more discipline.
The lack of clues is a clue.
Telling them to go faster only leads to making mistakes.
Notice the world around you.
Among the bad advice frequently given and we should all avoid is:

What could possibly go wrong?
We don't have time to make a plan.
Thinking is a luxury we can no longer afford.
I especially appreciated the lesson on intellectual property rights. Weinberg knows this topic after having published 40-something books and hundreds of papers. His advice serves authors and others (like computer programmers) well, and for us this is worth the price of the novel.

I recommend "The Aremac Project" for anyone wishing entertainment and consultation with one of the technical world's leading consultants.
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