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 – after layoffs and knockoffs – 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 – I’m already familiar with all the depressive reality of the software industry, and I’d like something more in my reading.

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