Steven Gould's Jumper
was one of the great sf novels of the 1990s -- one of those rare books that can be read either as a young adult novel or a book for adults; like Ender's Game
or vintage Heinlein
The story concerns Davy Rice, a young man from a flyover state who is about to receive a beating from his alcoholic father when he flinches away and discovers that he can teleport. The story is a really thorough working-over of all the ins and outs of what being a teleport would really mean, as Davy goes from picked-on kid to terrorist-fighter who's being chased by the NSA.
Gould is a master of many things, but first and foremost, he's the king of pacing. I've read Jumper half a dozen times, each time after the first only intending to find a beloved passage and getting sucked into reading the book from cover to cover.
Now there's a sequel to Jumper, called Reflex, and last night I ended up burning about two hours' worth of jealously hoarded sleep-time to finish this thing.
Like Jumper, Reflex is a snappy, cracking yarn that you will be hard-pressed to put down. Like Jumper, it is a thoroughgoing exploration of the implications of teleportation, and like Jumper, it is a relatively subtle and interesting investigation into the nature of terrorism, anti-terrorism, power and atrocity.
Reflex concerns itself mostly with the travails of Millie, Davy's girlfriend from Jumper, now his wife of ten years. She's as strong and likable a female character as Davy is a male hero, making this a perfect bookend to book one.
This kind of book doesn't come along all that often, and when it does, it's cause for celebration -- run, don't walk.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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