Welcome to the first in a new ongoing feature, “Recently Read”. Brief reviews of books I’ve just finished reading, Recently Read starts with G33K Mafia by Rick Dakan. I’ve been taking recommendations from Cory Doctorow, and reading books based on his recommendations and reviews he posts at Boing Boing, and he hasn’t done me wrong yet, starting with Geek Mafia.
Geek Mafia tells the story of Paul Reynolds, a former comic book writer who co-founds a gaming company, and is let go from the company he co-founded a few years later. Paul, while wallowing in his sorrows, meets Chloe, and together Chloe helps him hatch a scheme to get back at his former company. Paul’s adventures continue with Chloe, who leads a small band of con artists, and Paul soon finds himself involved in the underground world of hackers and con artists.
The book is fast paced, and you quickly come to care about the characters. Trying to figure out who’s conning who, Geek Mafia gives you an insider’s view to a seedy side of Silicon Valley you never thought was possible.
After reading Geek Mafia, I visited Rick Dakan’s home on the web, and was surprised to learn he self-published Geek Mafia (which explains a lot of the typos found in the book) and that the book was semi-autobiographical. Rick co-founded Cryptic Studios, makers or City of Heroes, and was also let go before the game came to fruition. Rick is currently working on a sequel and blogs frequently at Rickdakan.com.