Review – Sid Meier’s Memoir

I will open by quoting a line from the last paragraph in the book…

There is joy out there waiting to be discovered, but it might not be where you expected.

And that pretty much sums up this memoir. It is a joy to read anyone, no matter their profession or calling in life, write enthusiastically about their passions and what drove them to commit to an endeavour that would span a significant percentage of their time on this earth. Even more so when those passions align with ones own so closely.

This book is not just for fans of the games Sid wrote. Far from it. There are anecdotes in here that are a real pleasure to read and they span the truly nerdy such as debunking the “Ghandi overflow bug” that turned his character into a nuclear warmongering despot, to business tales of bootstrapping startups in the early days of computer gaming drawings heavily on a world of table top adventures via side notes involving Tom Clancy and Robin Williams.

This book is not just for fans of computer games, although they will likely get the most of it, but for anyone interested in the march of technology and tales of those that interacted with it for creative endeavours.

I read it fast, as I often do with books I enjoy on first sitting, and will likely read it again in a more leisurely manner. My only criticism is that on occasion he held back from diving into truly technical details on issues that he faced and overcame. I would have liked to see this and let the reader decide if she wanted to skip or dive in.

4.0 out of 5.0

My recent best reads…

Started keeping a list and notes on books I have recently read so when asked for recommends I am not left trawling my memory for any that stand out.

Am I the only one that a book can resonate with you at the time of reading but a month or two later it is lost in the noise of the next one consumed?

It feels like “consumption” but as I ingest, some of it does stick.

So during 2018, the best I have read, not sorted for genre or in order of preference, is as follows:

Gestapo Mars by Victor Gischler

Easy, low brow reading. But great fun. Aliens, space ships exchanging broadsides Hornblower would be proud of, espionage, sex bots and orgies. Whats not to like!

Masters of Doom by David Kushner

For anyone who grew up with the Doom games and subsequent releases they have a special place in your heart. Whether you are aware of the protagonists in its creation or not the story of their journey is riveting reading. Top workplace tip, if you ever find yourself locked in your office, make sure you have a battle-axe handy…

Munck debates – Political Correctness

This book contains a transcript of the aforementioned debate between Michael Eric Dyson/Michelle Goldberg and Stephen Fry/Jordan Peterson. The Fry/Petersen pairing is interesting in itself bu any chance to hear the wonderful Mr Fry illuminate a subject is worth grabbing. These debates are recorded and can be found on the web, but having it transcribed allows a savouring of the argument that watching on the screen cannot do justice. Biggest revelation for me…certainty in your views or opinions is the death of reasonable discourse and progress. Just wonderful…

A Brief Candle in the Dark by Richard Dawkins

Many are aware of Richard Dawkins for his books on skeptical thought and scientific reasoning. Even more are aware of him by reputation and loath the God Delusion without actually reading what is perhaps one of the few books that should be compulsory reading (along with any religious text you wish to pick) for all teenagers. I was aware he was a biologist and supposed he must have been not too shabby a one. My ignorance in all that he has achieved, and how much I still have to do, was humbling. Ripped through it and will return at some point.

I will pop up any other good finds I have and would welcome any others I may have missed.

Will end with one of my favourite quotes (not sure who said it…same memory issue as alluded to at the start)

Think before you speak and read before you think…