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┬ánovel. 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.