Book review – Randomize

Book cover for Randomize (Amazon Forward) by Andy Weir

I really like the idea behind the Amazon Forward series. They pulled together six up-and-coming science fiction authors and had each of them write a short story.

I started off the series by reading Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. For my second read in the series, I chose Randomize by Andy Weir. I’ve read other books by Weir which include The Martian and Artemis. The Martian was the best book I read back in 2014, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

Based on my experience with Summer Frost and my prior experience with Weir’s writing, I was looking forward to diving in to Randomize. Here’s my take on it.

The story is based on quantum computing theory. Weir throws around a lot of technical terms in the story. I like to consider myself somewhat tech-savvy, but at times I felt like I was in over my head. While quantum theory knowledge isn’t critical in understanding the gist of the plot, Something tells me that having even a little background in the subject would make the story more engaging.

Randomize is a short read, even by short story standards. You should be able to polish it off in about 30-40 minutes, maybe less. Given its length, Weir doesn’t waste any time getting into the action. The primary characters, of which there are only four, are developed just enough to allow your imagination to fill-in the gaps. It’s well written for its length.

Of the two books I’ve read thus far in the Amazon Forward series, I liked Summer Frost much better than Randomize. I’m not saying that I didn’t like Randomize, I just didn’t love it. Fortunately, it’s short. So even if it’s not your thing, it’s not a huge commitment to see the story through to the end.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of the short story genre. I feel it’s been overlooked in favor of long, drawn-out series. I’m really glad that Amazon put together this collection and am looking forward to reading the remaining four stories. Not only am I intrigued by the story concepts, but I’m also curious to see how they stack up against one another. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I finish them!

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