By Alisha Ramos
After years of working in tech (technically, I consider myself as still working “in tech”) and startups, reading the scenarios described in Uncanny Valley felt all too familiar, for better or for worse. Anna Wiener describes the story of her move from working in the publishing industry in New York City to the tech industry in San Francisco with a matter-of-fact tone and sprinkles of dry humor that I enjoyed throughout.
Her resistance to using proper nouns, one of the bolder stylistic choices in the book, gives the book an overall eerie feeling. Although this is a memoir, many parts feel like fiction. In one chapter, she describes a scene in which an operations manager installs a surveillance camera in the company kitchen to spot any “bad actors.” Although the results of said camera are more humorous and sound trivial (think: funny GIFs of employees slipping on spilled granola), it’s descriptions like these that make readers raise an eyebrow and keep turning pages.
Although the book lacked any true “omg” moments that I had secretly hoped for (it was more like a low hum of disillusionment with occasional spikes of sexism), it was a well-written, relatable read.