Please Report Your Bug Here by Josh Riedel

Once you sign an NDA it's good for life. Meaning legally, I shouldn't tell you this story. But I have to.


A college grad with the six-figure debt to prove it, Ethan Block views San Francisco as the place to be. Yet his job at hot new dating app DateDate is a far cry from what he envisioned. Instead of making the world a better place, he reviews flagged photo queues, overworked and stressed out. But that's about to change.

Reeling from a breakup, Ethan decides to view his algorithmically matched soulmate on DateDate. He overrides the system and clicks on the profile. Then, he disappears. One minute, he’s in a windowless office, and the next, he’s in a field of endless grass, gasping for air. 

When Ethan snaps back to DateDate HQ, he’s convinced a coding issue caused the blip. Except for anyone to believe him, he’ll need evidence. As Ethan embarks on a wild goose chase, moving from dingy startup think tanks to Silicon Valley’s dominant tech conglomerate, it becomes clear that there’s more to DateDate than meets the eye. With the stakes rising, and a new world at risk, Ethan must choose who—and what—he believes in.


Riedel's debut novel opens in January 2023 with a letter from Ethan Block, former employee of DateDate. In his 30s now, Block has been hiding a former part of himself, something mysterious that happened when he worked at the Silicon Valley-based dating app. 

“I'll admit that writing this hasn't come easily,” but Block assures readers that whatever he's about to divulge isn't made up, even if it does sound like fiction. Ethan then takes readers back in time to the early days of DateDate, before company was acquired by the Corporation.

There were many things that made this novel feel special to me; as a former Silicon Valley tech employee, people pleaser, and someone who is often consumed with work, I saw myself in Ethan. He came to life for me. I thought of him while I was working, commuting, and eating lunch at my desk. I often wondered what Ethan would be doing. 

I saw myself in his hopes and dreams, his interests in art and culture, too. Visits to SFMOMA and the de Young museum. These parts of him were so beautifully woven into the narrative. 

I felt pulled into this story right away. Riedel both surprised and moved me. Surprising because it wasn't the novel I was expecting; I went in blind without reading anything about this book. I was sold on the cover and Anna Wiener's praise.

Please Report Your Bug Here is more than a workplace novel, it's much more than fantasy or about parallel universes; this book is a gift to San Francisco and the people who live there. 

For fans of The Arc and Several People Are Typing. 

Josh Riedel courtesy of Macmillan

Josh Riedel was the first employee at Instagram, where he worked for several years before earning his MFA from the University of Arizona. His short stories have appeared in One Story, Passages North, and Sycamore Review. Please Report Your Bug Here is his first novel. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Please Report Your Bug Here is available for purchase in hardcover or audiobook format. Check IndieBound for a retailer near you.