Pyle's relaxed narrative presents history in a pleasant to read style.
This is the version of the Jargon File which became the raw text for the New Hacker's Dictionary, 3rd Edition. It's not as easy to flip through as the physical book, but it's all here, the text, I mean. Too bad there isn't a table of contents to make it a little easier to look up word, or hypertext for the many references to other entries. Also missing are Guy Steele's cartoons. But hey! this is true to the original medium: an ascii text file! And it does have the well written interesting introductions.
The first few pages had me groaning "another cyberpunk novel". Lots of acronyms and jargon are tossed out with little to no context, making a bit difficult to scan.
But I always like to try to give a fair reading, so I plodded on, and after a little while, I found myself engrossed.
The climax, like the exposition, were a bit overly drawn out, and I felt that closure could have been achieved in a more streamlined manner.
The author plainly classifies this as an "unashamed attempt at Philosophical (Christian) Science Fiction", wherein a self-aware artificial intelligence journeys to discover the meaning of life.
A human protagonist accompanies, at first unwillingly, the AI in her quest, and also finds the answers to his own questions.
The social and economic situations strike surprising close to home. Given this, I do wish the author did not attach specific dates, as I feel this could be "tomorrow" rather than a century-and-a-half into the future.
I think with the present day going ons within the RC church that Maria Monk has been well and truly vindicated.
The present Pope (Benedict) had control of dealing with complaints regarding abuses going on within the church before attaining his present position. He steadfastly refused to take any action over this information given to him. The person who passed this information on to him left the church in disgust at his inaction. The recent happenings in the Dublin Diocese only confirms what many people believed...things were covered up.
If its like that today in this modern world,what chance had Maria Monk in the 1800s. Certainly she was going to be ridiculed and scoffed at. Well done Maria. Its just a pity you hadn't be listened to by those good people that must exist within the RC church