The cover is pretty, but doesn't quite make sense for the story except for the setting being the greater San Fran area.
Please Report Your Bug Here is a scifi debut from Josh Riedel. The author has short stories published elsewhere, but this is his first novel. Notably, Riedel was also one of the earliest Instagram employees, which lends credibility to the character Ethan, one of the first employees at a dating app startup in Silicon Valley. The book debuted in early 2023.
Please Report Your Bug here focuses on Ethan, as mentioned above, takes place in 2010, and is framed as Ethan looking back on all this drama from an unspecified point in the future. Using his company's app, Ethan views his most compatible match and is suddenly thrown into an alternate world. While Ethan tries to solve what happened to him and why, he learns he's not the only one who experienced this, and that the buggy code causing it isn't an accident.
I liked some aspects of this book. It reminded me at first of the opening of The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, although with less humor and more focus on the startup life. The two diverged by the time of the inciting incident. The book highlighted important problems, like the cost of living in San Fran and the weird way social media companies tried (still try?) to get their employees to basically live at work. The idea of a social media company stumbling onto this tech and using it like this was also very realistic.
On the downside, Ethan didn't develop much as a character, and often felt more like background than a protagonist. I also didn't understand his motivations to keep digging into learning about the anomaly after a certain point. He was also weird with women in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth, and with little else about the character leaving an impression, that's what I remember most.
I think this book would appeal to anyone who was involved in start ups in the 2010s, because you're sure to pick up on inside jokes more than I did. You may also enjoy it if you're big into multiverse stories. It may not be for you if you want something character driven or more escapist.
Have you read Please Report Your Bug Here? What did you think? Let's discuss in the comments!