On The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White

Brust and White tell the story of a small group of people who have been manipulating human history for millennia by gradually changing people’s plans and minds. The Incrementalists store their own memories in the Garden, like a memory palace which can be shared with others in the group. When an Incrementalists dies a new person is chosen to inherit the memories of the dead member. The plot of the book hinges around a rogue member who kills herself in order to force the group to do things the way she wants them done. The idea is very cool and the garden of memories is a nice device. But the book is structured in chapters which alternate first-person point of view between the two main characters making the alterations difficult to follow. I couldn’t keep track of who I was reading about. The prose is workmanlike but not particularly memorable. So a good idea that could have been executed better. Overall intriguing but not memorable.

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.