This is one of those books that hit me at the exact right time. As someone who is constantly on Slack for work, I am still thinking about perfectly it skewered the grim experience of corporate tech chat messaging. Throughout the day today I was struck by how well he satirized various interactions. Several People are Typing gets everything about the tone and the purgatorial aspect of this platform while also serving up good speculative fiction. There were several times when I was reading this when I could have been reading my own office Slack messages, which was kind of uncanny but also depressing. The main arc of this novel is that Gerald gets uploaded into Slack and stuck there, but can’t convince anyone that he’s not just joking. There are also some subplots about other people in the office, but the main focus is on if Gerald will ever get out of Slack and back to his body.
I really enjoy epistolary novels, and this fell in that sweet spot for me. It’s a fast read due to being entirely chat messages, but Kasulke gets a lot of depth of characterization in there, and I was impressed by how distinct all the people felt. I enjoyed the growth of the relationships in the book and there were some nice surprises in there. I took off a star because there was one character that I wanted more of a conclusive/clear ending for, and because I didn’t like how another relationship seemed to end abruptly, but overall this was a really well done satire of my current purgatorial Slack messaging experience. Hopefully I will continue to stay in the real world and not be transformed into a mind bouncing around Slack channels.