Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. ebook, approx 237 pps.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a geek's fairytale. As such, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a geek without a job. He gets one at Mr. Penumbra's bookstore in San Francisco. It happens to be open 24 hours. Clay works the night shift. There are few regular customers but there are also some mysterious customers, some mysterious books, a mysterious log to write in, and of course Mr. Penumbra who is in his own way rather mysterious.
Besides Clay, the cast of characters include his geek friend Neel, a beautiful young woman named Kat who works for Google© in love with the idea of The Singularity, a hacker named Grumble, the strange irregular customers who are looking for tomes to borrow from the back of the store, and an almost luddite organization of folks in a mysterious library in New York City.
sapphoq reviews says: I was hooked immediately. Anyone who is a geek or a techie and who likes fantasy plus a good mystery will enjoy Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. There are no talking animals or wicked witches to be found here. But this book is definitely a fairytale for geeks. I am looking forward to more from Robin Sloan.