39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
The Backroom Boys Come to the Fore.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Backroom Boys: The Secret Return of the British Boffin (Hardcover)This is a marvelous book. A selection of tales from the highpoints of British science and engineering.
What's best for me is Spufford's use of language, this is no dry list of geekery and geeks but a tale of human endeavour, brought to life by a talented author.
His writing about the shape of Concorde, "it still looks as if a crack has opened in the fabric of the universe and a message from tomorrow has been poked through. Only it is clear now that the tomorrow in question was yesterday's tomorrow. " moves us to realise that even after thirty years this plane is still an artifact of future but that sadly it is not our future.
The descriptions of ultimate fate of the Prospero satellite and the challenge to sequence the human genome are both alternately moving and amusing. The sad tale of the falling out between the authors of "Elite" shows just how human these inventors are.