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Randomize

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In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the ins In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house—unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past. Andy Weir’s Randomize is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.


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In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the ins In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house—unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past. Andy Weir’s Randomize is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

30 review for Randomize

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    For no real reason, I decided to read through the Forward collection in order of length, starting with the shortest. That made Randomize the first story I read. And I have to say-- I almost stopped. Nothing about this made me want to read on. Thankfully, I did read on. Mostly because authors like Blake Crouch and N.K. Jemisin contributed to the collection. I can now say that Randomize was by far my least favourite story. It felt almost as if Weir didn't even try. I got my partner to read this too because I wondere For no real reason, I decided to read through the Forward collection in order of length, starting with the shortest. That made Randomize the first story I read. And I have to say-- I almost stopped. Nothing about this made me want to read on. Thankfully, I did read on. Mostly because authors like Blake Crouch and N.K. Jemisin contributed to the collection. I can now say that Randomize was by far my least favourite story. It felt almost as if Weir didn't even try. I got my partner to read this too because I wondered if all the discussion of quantum computing was more interesting to a techie computer geek, but he shares my opinion. That opinion being that this story was so dry and dull. Weir spends the first half geeking out about coding and computing, never developing any of the characters, and then the second half just fizzles out. I got to the end and was like "Is that it?" Cold, distant characters, boring story. By far the least interesting and least engaging of the six, in my opinion. Ark by Veronica Roth - ⭑⭑⭑☆☆ Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin - ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆ The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆ Summer Frost by Blake Crouch - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    2.5 stars. Dazzling science can't make up for a mundane plot. Full review first posted on Fantasy Literature: Nick Chen is an IT guy on a mission: when quantum computers become available to consumers, he tries to convince the managers at the Babylon Hotel and Casino where he works to shut down their keno lounge, knowing that quantum computers can quickly crack the random-number generators of the keno game system. When he fails to persuade them, he uses his override passwords to shut down the keno g 2.5 stars. Dazzling science can't make up for a mundane plot. Full review first posted on Fantasy Literature: Nick Chen is an IT guy on a mission: when quantum computers become available to consumers, he tries to convince the managers at the Babylon Hotel and Casino where he works to shut down their keno lounge, knowing that quantum computers can quickly crack the random-number generators of the keno game system. When he fails to persuade them, he uses his override passwords to shut down the keno game, which quickly gets the attention of Edwin Rutledge, the head of the casino. Eventually convinced by Chen’s arguments, Rutledge authorizes Chen to buy the casino its own quantum computer for $300,000 (“We fight quantum with quantum”). A couple of days later, a new QuanaTech quantum computer is delivered and installed by a salesman, Chen sets up airtight security systems around it, and all is now well with the Babylon keno game … or, perhaps not. It turns out that the QuanaTech salesman is married to a brilliant physicist, who has an idea for an ingenious way to game the system. Andy Weir is still riding on the coattails of The Martian's fame, but I’m getting dubious that he’ll ever recapture that same magic. Randomize doesn’t do it. Weir tries to dazzle your eyes with lots of geeky science talk about quantum computing and pseudorandom number generation and entangled qbits, and how that would affect the massive Las Vegas gambling industry. But once you clear away all the sparkly physics details, at its heart this is just a heist story, and not a particularly compelling one. Weir does give his characters a few memorable characteristics: Rutledge is deeply status-conscious and mistrusts anyone who won’t drink with him; the QuanaTech salesman and his wife, Prashant and Sumi Singh, are an Indian couple in an arranged marriage that has worked out rather well, but they want to escape their financial worries; Nick Chen is a nerd who cares about his new quantum computer more than his co-workers’ — or his own — comfort. However, the characterization feels perfunctory; with the exception of Sumi, the characters are all readily recognizable types. The heist plan is overly-complex from a physics point of view but the actual execution of the plan is so simple as to be an eyebrow-raiser. The ending of this novella was amusing but underwhelming. Randomize is part of the FORWARD collection proposed and curated by Blake Crouch. It’s a set of six stand-alone novellas, each by a different author, that explore the “effects of a pivotal technological moment.” The authors are Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay and Andy Weir. The individual novellas are reasonably priced and available in ebook and audio form individually or as a set.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    So, what's not to love about this one: - quantum computers getting into quantum entanglement - a PHD genius - casino woes What I didn't really like is that the PHD wife's brains were being slowly pickled as what, stay-at-home mom without any science involvement? Maybe I missed smth. Or maybe it's our society that misses something: half the population's potential. The woe's with the society and not with AW. So, it's still an excellent read. Even if somewhat naïve one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    2,5 * - This was just a big "meh" story for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Thankfully this is not my first book at this series because if I start with that, I probably give up on them! This is the most boring, dullest, meaningless story I’ve read from the Forward collection. It is written in quantum mechanics bla bla bla language, (most of the words of it went in my one ear and out the other one!) exhausted me so much. I was so disturbed to take a nap and get a break. I felt like I was trapped in a place keeps playing the same death metal song in high volume over and o Thankfully this is not my first book at this series because if I start with that, I probably give up on them! This is the most boring, dullest, meaningless story I’ve read from the Forward collection. It is written in quantum mechanics bla bla bla language, (most of the words of it went in my one ear and out the other one!) exhausted me so much. I was so disturbed to take a nap and get a break. I felt like I was trapped in a place keeps playing the same death metal song in high volume over and over again. (This must be worst version of Russian Doll series! You die over and over again at the very same night and find yourself at the same bathroom, looking yourself in the mirror as the same song plays…) So the book I expected to love so much cannot be reach at this moment. (I think it’s trapped in a tunnel with more likable, better developed characters and more interesting story!) I didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the way the author told the story. I didn’t like the characters. But I’m happy with the ending because the story finally ended and I can delete the book from my kindle and forget it forever! Yaaaayyyy! One more reason to drink one more chilled glass of Chardonnay! (Everybody sends me Carol Kane’s “Chardonnay Lady” gif from the movie “Dead Don’t Die” and I highly deserve this nickname!) This is most boring and dry book of the series. I thought I’m going to devour all of them and have so much fun but even Martian’s author can disappoint me which is not a first. (Actually I didn’t enjoy “Artemis”, too) So let’s leave two stars and get the hell out of here for a better reading ASAP!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 4.25* of five I do so love a heist story with a happy ending. Like, a lot. *happy sigh* And when the crisis came, I found myself thinking, "howinahell could {the sleazeball character} say no?" Luckily no was not said.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This one seems to be the least liked of the Forward collection but honestly, I liked it. It's a short story about mathematics and quantum computers by a writer who likes science. I thought it was enjoyable. Not too tech-y. A snarky ending. A jab at folks viewed as much smarter than the average human etc. 4 Stars Listened on Audible. Narration by Janina Garvankar was very good!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    This Review ✍ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 ★ I like this one but it felt so clinical, cold and geeky! ★ I can understand many readers not liking this one because it was smart, too smart maybe! I think it should have been a bit longer with focus on the characters but the author was geeking out over numbers and quantum physics! ★ If I was a professor and wanted my students to understand probabilities and quantum physics, I would use this one! Worth giving a chance anyway! You can This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 ★ I like this one but it felt so clinical, cold and geeky! ★ I can understand many readers not liking this one because it was smart, too smart maybe! I think it should have been a bit longer with focus on the characters but the author was geeking out over numbers and quantum physics! ★ If I was a professor and wanted my students to understand probabilities and quantum physics, I would use this one! Worth giving a chance anyway! You can get more books from Book Depository

  9. 5 out of 5

    Char

    I enjoyed this, but not as much as the others in this series. There didn't seem to be much point to it, but I did like how it ended up.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaleah

    2 stars ⭐⭐ Hmmm. This was my first experience with Andy Weir. It wasn't terrible, but it was pretty bad. The writing seemed both overly simplistic and juvenile, while also being a bit of a quantum theory word dump. It felt clunky and awkward, as if written by a very inexperienced author. I think my favorite awkward moment was when the Indian wife was talking about quantum stuff, and then we get this random interjection about Indian clothing. “The 707 does a coherence self-check once a week./>“The 2 stars ⭐️⭐️ Hmmm. This was my first experience with Andy Weir. It wasn't terrible, but it was pretty bad. The writing seemed both overly simplistic and juvenile, while also being a bit of a quantum theory word dump. It felt clunky and awkward, as if written by a very inexperienced author. I think my favorite awkward moment was when the Indian wife was talking about quantum stuff, and then we get this random interjection about Indian clothing. “The 707 does a coherence self-check once a week. When you install the system, make sure those settings are set to do the self-check this Sunday night at 11:58 p.m.” She adjusted her sari. American clothes certainly looked nice on Americans, but she preferred traditional clothing. “The self-check takes about five minutes. During that time, if the system is asked to do qbit operations, it uses the qbits in the long-term storage unit because the normal RAM is busy." Lol what? It was as if he felt he needed to throw in something related to Indian culture, and picked this random paragraph to talk about saris. Anyway, there's not much to the plot, and the characterization of the casino owner was paper thin. Not sure I'm inclined to pick up any of Weir's full-length novels.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    I liked this one a lot! The audiobook was a quick, entertaining listen. A couple uses quantum computing to scam a casino -- quite fun.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)

    Read on Kindle Unlimited! So this one was surprisedly good, even though for starters this isn't a genre, nor an author I read from. I liked how explained the quantum computers side of the story was told, even though I was a tiny bit confused at the start. With quick-pacing and a few twists that I didn't see coming, the overall experience was satisfying. Also, set in Las Vegas amongst all of the casinos!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    3.5* This is my third short story from the Forward Collection. This one was less about a ‘social comment’ and more of an entertaining tale featuring cool thinking (if somewhat dishonest) and quantum computers. I enjoyed it but I don’t think it shall stay in my mind as much as the other two, especially Nemisin’s excellent Emergency Skin.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This is a short story about a techno-heist that takes place in Las Vegas, from one of my favorite authors, Andy Weir. In this case, the plot explores quantum computers and random-number generators. It is so short that saying more would be giving away too much. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to readers of science fiction. This story is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from six great authors.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill McGill

    Unfortunately quantum computing is way over my head... but Randomize was definitely an interesting read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shorouk Abd Elhamed

    What was hard for me to believe in such small book that we would get something with purpose or deep meaning.What I was afraid of happened and I would give it a 2 but with the note in the end,this is 3 stars and I am hopeful. The story started with a little conversation that rattled some scientific stuff that I liked. Chen, he was an enthusiastic genius.I loved these characters with great intelligence. The business that was suggested was insanely good but I knewWhat was hard for me to believe in such small book that we would get something with purpose or deep meaning.What I was afraid of happened and I would give it a 2 but with the note in the end,this is 3 stars and I am hopeful. The story started with a little conversation that rattled some scientific stuff that I liked. Chen, he was an enthusiastic genius.I loved these characters with great intelligence. The business that was suggested was insanely good but I knew(view spoiler)[the moral part would come into play if this was a full novel. (hide spoiler)] I really hope this would be a full novel one day.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    As usual, the science of quantum theory was WAY over my head, but it made for a decent short story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    The story was pretty meh. Very formulaic casino heist story, despite the futuristic computer hardware and software. I kept waiting for something truly interesting to happen, but alas... I had expected something more exciting from Andy Weir. I did not particularly like the audio narration either. Too breathless and emotionally over the top for my taste. It wasn‘t believable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    vonblubba

    Interesting take on quantum computing, its uses and misuses. Unfortunately, plot is rather shallow.

  20. 5 out of 5

    TS Chan

    Clever idea, but unfortunately the execution made the story feel as cold and impersonal as a casino.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Rolfe

    Cool short story. I like Andy Weir and his mad science mind. This short story kept my interest,but i would have loved a different ending.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henry

    Excellent Terrific story by Andy Weir in the Blake Crouch curated Forward series. This series is a great collaboration by Crouch, Amazon and five other gifted authors.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Pereira

    Andy Weir never disappoints! The invention of the steam engine by James Watt brought about a revolution that would completely alter the world in ways that Watt could never have made sense of, even in his wildest dreams. The First Industrial Revolution was set in motion. Today, we are knocking at the doors of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, AI, IoT, gene editing...well, the queue is only going to get longer. While we are only standin Andy Weir never disappoints! The invention of the steam engine by James Watt brought about a revolution that would completely alter the world in ways that Watt could never have made sense of, even in his wildest dreams. The First Industrial Revolution was set in motion. Today, we are knocking at the doors of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, AI, IoT, gene editing...well, the queue is only going to get longer. While we are only standing at the outskirts of the revolution, we are doing well enough to IMAGINE how the revolution WILL change our lives and that of the coming generations. It is here, that geniuses like Andy Weir play a crucial role - getting the 'normal citizen' to be ready and excited for the future. Through 'Randomize', Weir diligently tries to explain the concept of Quantum Computing. He highlights how QC could be used for good & evil. He does that by weaving a great story. For a very short quick read, the character development is brilliant. He captures the atmosphere and ambiance of Las Vegas in such a manner that I could see casinos and huge neon billboards while reading. The dialogue is smart and witty. There is enough suspense, more than you can expect from such a short story. The only issue I had was the ending. Hard Sci-Fi fans should not miss this gem!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeanny

    Audible version. Keeping in mind this was a 50 minute length story about the geeky subject of quantum mechanics & computers, some may think this was a big bore, but IMO this was a fun story. It centered around the science & had some scheming that moved the plot along. It’s got very little to no character development at all. If you prefer to connect with a storyline’s cast of characters this may be a pass for you. Unlimited Forward series. 2.5 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    "True random, motherfuckers!" Definitely the weakest of the Forward novellas. Muddled concept, poor characterisation. Quantum gambling deserves to be far cooler than presented here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kacy❁

    The only thing I enjoyed about this book was the beautiful cover. The cumbersome explanation made my eyes glaze over, and that was 40% of the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    So this was the shortest of the stories in the "Forward" collection and honestly my least favorite. It was beyond boring and the ending was just a meh moment to me. I wanted something more for a supposed science fiction book. Talking about quantum physics and entanglement didn't do a thing for me. "Randomize" is at the heart just a boring heist story. We follow a member that plans on stealing from a Las Vegas casino using quantum physics. Yeah, that's a new one on me. It's still borin So this was the shortest of the stories in the "Forward" collection and honestly my least favorite. It was beyond boring and the ending was just a meh moment to me. I wanted something more for a supposed science fiction book. Talking about quantum physics and entanglement didn't do a thing for me. "Randomize" is at the heart just a boring heist story. We follow a member that plans on stealing from a Las Vegas casino using quantum physics. Yeah, that's a new one on me. It's still boring though. And the last little bit is just a lot of talking about things that made me go huh? Seriously? What is happening? I finally got annoyed though when I realized this was not going to end in a very dull way. I wondered at first if Weir misread what Crouch wanted all of the authors to do when he put forward his premise. The writing was boring. Unlike with "The Martian" Weir does not make this easy to understand. I am not a stupid person, but nothing that was said even made a little bit of sense. I went back to my "The Martian" review and saw that I did love that book, I also noted that Weir was too technical at times. And boy is he here as well. The flow was nonexistent. We go from discussion of heist, heist, and post-heist so fast there's no time to even settle in. There is zero development of characters too which is why I didn't even bring up one of the people we follow. The ending felt unrealistic to me. So to wrap up here was how I rated this collection: Ark, by Veronica Roth, 4 stars Summer Frost, by Blake Crouch, 5 stars Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin, 5 stars You Have Arrived at Your Destination, by Amor Towles, 4 stars The Last Conversation, by Paul Remblay, 5 stars Randomize, by Andy Weir, 2 stars. Overall rating 4.5 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Behrg

    Randomize is the 4th of 6 short reads in the Forward Collection I've had the joy of perusing. Some interesting ideas here with quantum computing but it never really went to the next level that I was hoping for and stayed instead on a very straight course. Good characterizations and the audio narration is fantastic but I felt there were some missed opportunities with the premise.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ângela

    “See, there you go, being all smart again. Thinking like a quantum physicist. I tend to think more like a criminal.” Sumi’s parents had done their best. Her absurdly high intelligence had been clear as soon as she learned how to speak. They’d put her in the best schools for gifted children, but she still found them dull. They went deeply into debt to hire tutors just to keep up with how fast she learned. Soon she would be able to repay them.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    This one was fun, yet the other 5 short stories of the Forward Collection made a deeper impression in me.

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