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Publisher's Summary

Audible narration by Janina Gavankar (True Blood)

In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.

An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house - unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past.

Andy Weir’s Randomize is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

©2019 Andy Weir (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What the critics say

“…a sensational project…” (Spine Magazine)

The Martian author Andy Weir brings his scientific flair to his novella about a Las Vegas casino heist...[Narrator Janina] Gavankar uses a well-balanced blend of accents, changes in tone, and varied pacing to infuse personality into her well-done character distinctions.” (AudioFile)

“This sci-fi collection boasts six stories from beloved authors, which can each be read in one riveting sitting.” (Paste Magazine

“This is exactly how I like my techno-anxiety…Happy bingeing!” (Audible, an October Editors Pick)

What listeners say about Randomize

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I didn't understand the math either

Like Casino guy I did not understand the math, but found this a fun short story. If I say more it will give too much away. Don't let the quantum math overwhelm you, in the end it is almost a macguffin.

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  • Mark
  • 2019-12-17

Brilliant Heist Caper based on Quantum Computing!

If you've never read Andy Weir, this is a low-cost way to start.

If you have read Andy Weir, this has all the stuff you love: hard science presented in a "popular" way, well-constructed schemes, and perfectly plausible reasons why the scheme blows up in the protagonist's face.

And more!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jose Eduardo Deboni
  • 2020-01-07

A good nerdy short story

What do you expect in Andy Weir's book? A nerdy character, some cool technologies, some clever plot twist based on a problem to solve, where science can be used at their best. You have all this here. This is a short story, so you don't have all the time to develop the plot and the characters, but he is able to put everything here. Highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • CR
  • 2019-10-30

So-so

I thought this was disappointing ... average story, average narration. My first Weir - hoped for more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 2020-01-06

Don't get your hopes up

The bright side is that this was a very short read; however I can't say that it was enjoyable or entertaining. The concept was interesting and it felt like it could have become a version of Oceans 11, but it never got there. I'm guessing part of the push for this story was to include it as part of an Amazon Audible Original for a collection of short stories. Because of it's brevity, it was also not too heavy handed with Weir's typically ultra-specific and detailed plot devices.

Pros: it was a short read and somewhat interesting concept.
Cons: the story never felt like it picked up or went anywhere.
Bottom line: not worth the effort, but not a total waste of time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sammie
  • 2019-12-15

So~So

This had not been my favorite book series. The stories, to me, were mostly forgettable. This was no exception. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything special. 10 minutes after listening to any short stories in the series they were a faded memory. Not bad but not good either. Will never listen tot hem again. Once was enough for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Frederic Likes Books
  • 2019-10-05

Great, except where it counts

This story started out good, and i loved the whole quantum-computer world, and the descriptions of it. However, for a quantum genius and her smart high-IQ man, they sure do fumble and stumble in their clumsy heist-attempt, to the point where i almost cringed at the ending. I could have done without her Sherlock Holmes-ish analyzing in the end as well.

3 people found this helpful

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  • reluctantuser
  • 2020-06-29

ok

not that memorable.
No character growth, story was a little flat
Disappointed, expected more after the Martian

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  • FloribundaMorosa
  • 2020-03-25

interesting

This was a fairly interesting, low-commitment story with heist-y vibes. I disliked the narration: while done well, I feel it was done wrong. The narrator would be great for a romance novel, but the tone was just too flirty for what was actually happening in the story. From the text, there was zero flirting happening at any time. But the audio experience felt like some of the characters were constantly about to make out. Bizarre.

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  • Henry Reimert
  • 2019-11-04

Missed Opportunities

I really wanted to like this story more, but from the first line, I knew what was going to happen. I love the Weir still sciences the shit out of stories, but there were a lot of missed opportunities in the plot department here.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jovan
  • 2021-03-24

Enjoyable enough

Story: 2.5⭐️
Audio: 4.5⭐️

Mass production of quantum computers is around the corner, which can make hacking high random number generator (HRNG) programs that casinos use a much easier target. When a casino's head IT guy comes to the CEO with his predictions, they implement an unbeatable system...except for someone with insider knowledge.

"Randomize" is an enjoyable enough, quick listen. The nerd in me enjoyed the use of quantum computings lack of binary restrictions and computing power as the driving force of the plot, and as a short it does a decent job creating characters who are fleshed out enough for the heist story Weir's telling. You know the thief's motivations and capabilities and you learn what drives the casino owner. My main problem is the ending as it raised some serious questions.

By itself, this isn't a bad thing--when done INTENTIONALLY. In this case, the questions raised seemed like obvious ones that undermines the intelligence and shrewdness of the character the story just established in the same scene. Had that character asked themselves at least one of these questions, it would have solidified the ending/made the actions more believable; they have calculated the risk and made an informed choice as you have been led to expect them to. Yet, this doesn't happen so to me, it just seems like the character Weir wanted to win the battle of wits wins.

To be fair though, the defeat technically may be earned as it does exploit a character's aforementioned weakness/flaw, but you kind of have to squint sideways to see it, and again, bc of how the ending is written, this feels more accidental than intentional.

*****END OF NON-SPOILER REVIEW PORTION*********












Also, if you know about HRNGs, then you may have to work harder to buy into the premise. I was actually surprised that his premise is basically only describing the problem with HRNGs that use pseudo-random numbers as opposed to "true", which pull data out of the environment and randomize it and then uses that. I get that he's probably using the theoretical idea of hidden patterns bc even this uses an algorithm, but so would the HRNG used by a quantum computer. Maybe I'm missing something as I'm no software engineer but still.

This potential lack is also what makes the ending not work for me as one of the issues raised about some of the HRNG hardware on the market is NOT the lack of randomness and ability to backtrace a program, but the creation of backdoors into the system that would allow spying, and if this is already a known security issue, the FIRST thing the government and casino regulators will do is dig into the casino owner's financials as he will be the only person not affected. Saying "oh my system is just different" will not cut it as ALL the products will have been compromised and they ALL come from the same company. I'm not sure there'll be enough shell companies in the world to hide his stake in the quantum security company she's proposing. Like I said earlier, maybe that's the point and his lack of IT knowledge (and interest) combined with his arrogance and desire to be the best is what she exploits to win. It just seems a bit far-fetched and unearned to me.

1 person found this helpful