- Paperback: 366 pages
- Publisher: 47North (June 20, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1477848738
- ISBN-13: 978-1477848739
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Run Program Paperback – June 20, 2017
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About the Author
Scott Meyer has worked as a radio host, a stand-up comedian, an office worker, and a theme-park ride operator. (He held those jobs in the order they’re listed, which is probably the opposite of what you’d expect.) He has written for several video games and created the comic strip Basic Instructions, which ran online and in various alternative weekly papers across the country for nearly a decade. Scott is the author of the Magic 2.0 books and several other novels and comics collections. Scott and his wife live in Phoenix, Arizona, to be close to their cats.
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Top customer reviews
Ostensibly, this is a story about an AI that breaks out and starts causing havoc, but it's really a story of all the people caught up in it and the communication and relationship problems that cause and exacerbate the problems.
If there's a point to the narrative, I think it's "stop taking everything so seriously" and "stop being dicks to each other." But this is really just a fun romp with a variety of characters, most of whom are ridiculous in their own delightful ways.
Meyer got off the ground with his "Magic" series (Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0), and then branched out in other directions with Master of Formalities and The Authorities. I'd give all of those five stars, except maybe four stars for "The Authorities" because I'm not really into police procedurals. But "The Authorities" was quirky and amusing enough to hold my interest; it wasn't your typical procedural, and I can't fault Meyer for writing outside my favored genre.
I'm guessing Meyer doesn't want to get typecast and stuck with a single series; hence the non-Magic books. With "Run Program" he's moved closer to "hard" science fiction, and maybe this is part of my problem with the book. This book shows less of an element of fantasy than his other works, so I'm more critical of technical unreality. I'll skip details because I don't want to spoil anything; I'll just say some things happen that I couldn't accept and wouldn't give a "fantasy pass" to as I would in Meyer's other books.
Part of my issue may be with the reader. I'm thinking that some of the text was meant to be humorous, but the reader's tone was too straight and serious. Maybe a different reader would have brought out the "fun" and made it work better. I'm not sure about that, but it's possible.
Anyway, I'll continue to follow Scott Meyer, and people with different expectations will be happier with this entry than I was.
The characters themselves were fairly one-dimensional, making them hard to empathize with, and their cookie cutter personality types (snarky gamer girl; shrewd businessman; gangly, accident-prone nerd, etc.) never really had any impact on the story. The book ended somewhat abruptly with what I hesitate to call a twist because it was telegraphed so clearly throughout the second half, and there was no followup whatsoever on the characters' relationships or lives after the events of the book. It feels like a setup for a sequel where those questions can be answered, but there wasn't enough substantive plot left hanging to build a second story on top of, and - frankly - I don't really care enough about any of the characters to come back and read anything more about them.
All that said, there are certainly good parts to the book as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the side plot following of the bumbling would-be villain who calls himself "the Voice of Reason". It was something of a return to the sort of pop-culture slapstick that Meyer does so well, and while it didn't feel like it quite fit with the rest of the book, it was still fun. The book reads smoothly, and is well written on a sentence-by-sentence level. At no point did I feel like it was a chore to read or that something had been done /wrong/, it just sort of missed the mark for me.