October 13, 2003
Come in, White Hart. Ken MacLeod reviews Backroom Boys: the Secret Return of the British Boffin by Francis Spufford, a Faber and Faber title forthcoming in November.
This is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year, and the one most likely to appeal to SF fans. I mean, how many books start with a wartime pub scene of the London members of the British Interplanetary Society cheering as the near-miss plaster falls around them because they recognise instantly what an explosion followed by a strange rising boom means for their dreams?According to Ken, Spufford anecdotally covers six different areas of modern British science and engineering, but the book’s real achievement is to put across the “distinctive style of each field’s native geek.” I want this book. [05:24 PM]