I'm currently behind on reviews, so don't be surprised if the recent reviews are a bit sparse.

The Lifecycle of Software Objects

Cover of The Lifecycle of Software Objects.

The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang is a charming (if depressing) story of virtual pets who are trained to be cute companions, but when the fad fades โ€“ after layoffs and knockoffs โ€“ it turns out you can train them up over the years to have intelligence and an understanding of the world. Yes, like children. Hilarity does not ensue, but it’s a well-enough-written story that felt realistic. If anything, I’d have appreciated a little less realism โ€“ I’m already familiar with all the depressive reality of the software industry, and I’d like something more in my reading.