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Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes "nerd novels," such as The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, and Mistress of Molecules—about how brilliant people produce quality work. His novels may be found as eBooks at or on Kindle. Before taking up his science fiction career, he published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. He also wrote books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, and software engineers). Early in his career, he was the architect for the Mercury Project's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. Winner of the Warnier Prize and the Stevens Award for his writing on software quality, he is also a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame. The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) honors his work for his 75th birthday. His website and blogs may be found at http://www.geraldmweinberg.com.
on Aug. 04, 2011 :
First Stringer is an example of what happens when you get several cliches, blend them with additional ingredients, and end up with something quite original and enjoyable.
It is about a bunch of people with "super-powers", but it is also a story about a bunch of people that discover who they are inside, and grow as persons. The evolution of the main characters is quite interesting from start to finish.
Be warned: you may not be able to stop reading once you start .
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
on April 03, 2011 :
I really liked First Stringers since it is the first book of the Sci-Fi
genre that I read which incorporates the String Theory. However, to
understand what's going on and how the main characters do what they do
no knowledge whatsoever of this theory is required.
In the end two things in this book stand out for me. All of the
main characters are special. Special in this case stands for the best
and the worst meaning of the word. They all have a "superpower" but were
all born with handicaps.
It made me think about how (in-)appropriate language at some times is.
The second point is the criticism Weinberg has on so called "patriots"
of the United States. Always watch out for people who blur the lines
between patriotism and nationalism, especially when the odd portion
of religious (here: Christian) fanatism is added .
On a final note having read several of Weinberg's non-fiction books it is
interesting to see how he let's people and groups of people develop
dynamics in the same way as describe there.
(reviewed 50 days after purchase)
on March 22, 2011 :
I got interested into the book because of its blurb.
The mix of "kids with super-powers" and a relation to the String theory seemed fascinating.
Well, the String theory is only loosely related, but nevertheless the book is a hit for me.
Anytime I opened the book I ended up reading a dozen or more chapters in a row; sometimes till the crack of dawn (no joke).
Even so the nearly 500 pages took some time to read, but still I was sad, when I reached the last page.
The story unfolded and evolved at a good pace; I never lost the interest (too slow) or the overview (too fast).
In hindsight I think, it contains some "teens get responsibilities and grow mature" morale, but that was a very fine underline and not in the way.
The ending was a good closure for the first part, but left enough space (cliffhanger anyone?) for the second part.
Which I will buy right now, so my review is over.
I heartily recommend the book for any reader who likes "super power" stories with a twist.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)