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Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.
Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza―known to his friends as Hubert, Etc―was too old to be at that Communist party.
But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has no where left to be―except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society―and walk away.
After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life―food, clothing, shelter―from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system.
It’s still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.
Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.
December 27, 2010. The limited edition of With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow. Click through for more photos.
Yes, on a t-shirt that I got for my birthday from my wife.
“GLAM and the Free World,” Cory Doctorow’s keynote speech at Museums and the Web Florence 2014
At the start of the summer, I traveled to Chicago for the annual national conference of the American Library Association. It was great. There are many utterly baseless clichés about librarians – the shushing spinster who prefers the company of books to humans is a creation of pure and unimaginative fantasy. But there is one way in which librarians live up to their reputation: they are superbly organized. I’ve been to many library conferences – national, regional, even Europe-wide – and the one thing I can report about all of them is that they ran like clockwork.
While I was in Chicago, I sat down with some of the ALA strategists to talk about how libraries are getting a raw deal on e-books. When libraries want to buy an e-book from the publisher, they find themselves paying as much as five times the price you or I pay for the same book. Literally – librarians are paying $60-80, and sometimes more, to include current release frontlist titles in their collections. Each of these e-books can only be lent to one patron at a time, which means that libraries are sometimes buying a dozen – or more – of these overpriced text-files.
Not only that, but libraries have to buy these books with DRM on them, and invest in expensive, proprietary collection-management software from companies like Overdrive in order to ensure that only one patron at a time can check out any given e-book. These e-books come with restrictions that don’t appear on regular print books; they can’t be sold on as used books once their circulations drop below a certain threshold; neither can they be shared with another library’s patrons though standard practices like interlibrary loan, a mainstay of libraries for more than a century.
Read the full article @ Locus Online.
Computers permeate almost every aspect of our lives. To fully understand the world we live in, we must understand computers and the language of 1s and 0s they speak. The characters in Cory Doctorow’s novel, “Homeland”, are a group of technically able, politically-engaged teenagers who are native speakers of this language. They have the tech-savvy and know-how to do something about a system they see as corrupt, rigged, and awash in money. Although a novel, the characters represent a new political class of teenagers and twenty-somethings whose politics are not about left or right or voting booths, but a distrust of power and money. They are Occupy. They are Anonymous. Rebels with the code – and a cause.
A keynote presentation by Cory Doctorow at Mini Maker Faire Meetup on Sunday, 7th July 2013.
I’ve previously blogged about a “new” German DRM scheme to change the text of a book each time it’s copied. Well, Cory Doctorow’s got something to say about it:
Shortcomings aside, this kind of DRM is hardly a breakthrough. I first encountered this proposal in the late 1980s, when it came up in a message board on the Science Fiction Round Table on GEnie, an online messaging service. I remember at first thinking that it sounded very clever, until someone pointed out that all it would take to de-identify a text would be to find two or more copies, compare them, make note of the differences, and randomly vary them. That’s easily done—a simple text comparison has been a largely solved problem since the advent of the Unix “diff” command, developed in the early 1970s.
But the fact that the basis behind this security measure was countered 25 years ago by employing a simple tool that’s getting into its 40s is not the silliest part of this supposed new DRM breakthrough. No, the silliest part is the idea that knowing who an e-book was sold to can actually serve as an effective means of fighting piracy. That belief rests on the idea that if you know to whom a file was sold, you can somehow take it out of their hide if you find lots of copies floating around on the Internet.
Read the full article @ PublishersWeekly.com.
First, we follow Damien Walter on the trail of Weird London, a parallel city that has been built on the banks of another Thames by writers of fantasy fiction. He explores why the capital has made such fertile ground for writers who look beyond the real, along with Tom Pollock, M John Harrison and the owner of the Atlantis Bookshop, Geraldine Beskin.
Back in the studio, Cory Doctorow outlines how the digital revolution is transforming writers’ lives. But how are authors to make money? The agent Jonny Geller and the head of Faber Digital, Henry Volans, investigate how writers can survive in a new publishing landscape.
We finish with a live reading by Neil Gaiman of the haunting story he contributed to the Guardian’s Water stories, Down to a Sunless Sea.
Listen @ Guardian.co.uk.