Thursday, May 23, 2013
Vaporware - by Richard Dansky - What happens when your job is the other woman
4 of 5 Stars
Wikipedia defines Vaporware as a term in the computer industry that describes a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually released nor officially cancelled. In this instance that would be Blue Lightning, a First Person Shooter, that is being developed by a small game developer on spec for a big video game publisher.
Things are looking great until, for no reason, the publisher pulls the plug and funding. Fortunately there is other work available and it's on to the next project. Of course not everyone is OK with the decision, including Blue Lightning.
Ryan Colter, project lead and the driving force behind Blue Lightning is a workaholic trying to juggle long hours and life with his girlfriend with whom he has a house. The fact that he has a history with one of his team leads, just further complicates the story.
Vaporware is as much about being married to your job and the consequences of that choice as it is about a game taking on a live of its own. Dansky obviously writes about what he knows here, having been a former game developer for White Wolf, Inc. where he worked as developer on several successful game lines.
The story intertwines working in a high pressure industry nicely with the mysterious occurrences surrounding the shut down of the Blue Lightning project. I very much liked the comradery between Ryan, Michelle and Leon even when things got messy.
Dansky takes his time in building the relationships between his characters and does a nice job with increasing tension and revealing what is happening with Blue Lightning. The story does require the reader to be able to suspend disbelief, but once you do, be sure to wear a seat-belt as this is one wild ride.
The copy I read was an ARC I received through LibraryThing.com and there were a number of things which I hope were caught in proofreading prior to publication. Aside from that, I can definitely recommend Vaporware, especially for gamers.