Version Control

Dexter Palmer
Version Control Cover

Version Control


I didn't care for this book right off the bat, based on the author's style of writing. At first, it reminded me of Timescape by Gregory Benford which, in my review, I characterized as science fiction buried in a soap opera. But Version Control almost doesn't even get science fictiony. I considered abandoning it before I reached its first quarter point, but decided to press on.

There is hardly a discernible plot, just an aimlessly meandering story. The story is necessary to make the author's science fiction point, I suppose, but it is just slathered with too much inane detail. How much do we really need to know about the lives of the security guards? Although, the security guards are perhaps more likable than the main characters. The main character, Rebecca, comes off as a shallow alcoholic. At one point, we read a lengthy diary left by Rebecca's deceased husband, Philip, buried in his private commentary of computer code. The code diary reads like a novel - like this novel. I could go on and on with extended detail, like Version Control does, but I won't. I think the point of this story, which in and of itself is interesting, could have been made in a short story or maybe a novella.

I think Dexter Palmer should try his hand at writing romances. His style of prose is more suited for that.