Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson

Surprising, strange, and very well done. Manages to weave alien contact, game development, and anarchist politics into a story so good and smoothly written that I finished all 300+ pages in just two days.

Can’t believe I didn’t hear about this one until just a few months ago.

Learned several things about writing from this book, including:

  • Little touches can go a long way to building both humor and character. For example, the narrator of the book is Jewish, so whenever a character says ‘God’, it’s written out as “G-d”
  • Using blog posts as the main form of narrative lets you cut out a lot of scene-setting description, get to the meat of each scene faster.
  • Be careful mixing blog posts, real life narrative, and other written forms in one novel. If they all adopt the same casual, conversational tone (as this book does), they start to bleed together, and you lose the advantage of keeping them separate.