3.77 (14,160 ratings by Goodreads)
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Leavened by the same infectious intelligence and lovable nerdiness that made Robin Sloan's Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighbourhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her - feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she's providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up.
When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Sourdough is a soup of skilfully balanced ingredients: there's satire, a touch of fantasy, a pinch of SF, all bound up with a likeable narrator whose zest for life is infectious. The novel opens a door on a world that's both comforting and thrillingly odd. - The Guardian
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 145 x 210 x 15mm | 300g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1786494388
  • 9781786494382
  • 11,484

Review quote

Both comforting and thrillingly odd... Shelve it alongside Where'd You Go Bernadette and your hipster cookbooks, and savour * Guardian * Through narrative and email correspondence, Sloan captures contemporary work environments, current reality, and future trends . . . [Sourdough] offers much to savor. * Publishers Weekly * [Sourdough] plunges through so much terrain: microbial nations, assimilation and tradition, embodied consciousness and the crisis of the tech industry, all without losing the light, sweet, ironic Sloanian voice familiar from Mr. Penumbra's, a plot that makes the book a page-turner and a laugh-out-louder, with sweetness and romance and tartness and irony in perfect balance. What a great book, seriously. -- Cory Doctorow * Boing Boing * A wild, geeky, flour-dusted ride through the oddball food and techie communities of San Francisco . . . A winning story that--like its namesake bread--carries a satisfying tang. * Shelf Awareness * Genius-level observant, wonderfully written and brilliant. * The Daily Mail *
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About Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan grew up near Detroit and has worked at Poynter, Current TV and Twitter in jobs that have generally had 'something to do with figuring out the future of media'. He has previously published short fiction in Kindle-only editions (Mr Penumbra started out as a 6000-word ebook). He lives in San Francisco. / @robinsloan
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Rating details

14,160 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 21% (3,029)
4 44% (6,250)
3 27% (3,819)
2 6% (847)
1 2% (215)
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