The main point of Sourdough is: don’t obsess over technology, which is alienating and takes you out of the real world. Instead, obsess over food, which brings people together.
There’s probably something intelligent to say about the intersection of the two – after all, one of the subplots is about how the main character is using a robotic arm to help her make bread, and another character is using genetic sequencing to create the perfect super-food. The technology + food equation seems to work better when the technology is supporting the food, not when it’s an end in and of itself. But also, the food will be just fine without it.
Or maybe you could enjoy a sweet story about a young woman finding her way in the world and not worry about technology and food and underlying meaning. That would work too.
All the Birds in the Sky was, for me, a tightly written three-act near-future novel about the clash of technology and magic (read: nature). I really enjoyed it.
There are two middle school aged children, Patricia and Laurence, and they are both freaks in that special middle school way. They almost become friends before they go their separate ways. As adults, they meet up in near-future San Francisco. Laurence is part of a tech incubator whose goal is to reach other planets sooner rather than later. Patricia is helping her fellow people via healing magic. The world is falling apart, and that accelerates. Clearly, humanity needs saving; will it be technology that will get us to the other world(s) before this one is destroyed or will it be magic that fixes it all?
This book is very much A Good Thing and worth your entertainment time.