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Showing posts by: cory doctorow click to see cory doctorow's profile
Mon
Sep 15 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real LifeAnda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read In Real Life]

Tue
May 27 2014 12:00pm

You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

They say that the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ordered a group of children to be raised without any human interaction so that he could observe their “natural” behavior, untainted by human culture, and find out the true, deep nature of the human animal.

If you were born around the turn of the 21st century, you’ve probably had to endure someone calling you a “digital native” at least once. At first, this kind of sounds like a good thing to be—raised without the taint of the offline world, and so imbued with a kind of mystic sixth sense about how the Internet should be.

But children aren’t mystic innocents. They’re young people, learning how to be adult people, and they learn how to be adults the way all humans learn: by making mistakes. All humans screw up, but kids have an excuse: they haven’t yet learned the lessons the screw-ups can impart. If you want to double your success rate, you have to triple your failure rate.

[Read More]

Wed
Aug 28 2013 9:00am
Original Story

Lawful Interception

Cory Doctorow

An all-new tale of Marcus Yallow, the hero of the bestselling novels Little Brother and Homeland—as he deals with the aftermath of a devastating Oakland earthquake, with the help of friends, hacker allies, and some very clever crowdsourced drones.

This original novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

[Read “Lawful Interception” by Cory Doctorow]

Tue
Feb 5 2013 10:00am

Homeland (Excerpt)

To celebrate its release, we’ve got a special treat for Cory Doctorow fans.... Take a look at the first chapters to Homeland, sequel to Little Brother, out today!

Marcus and Ange are enjoying the annual festival Burning Man, deep in the Nevada desert. But in the midst of all the walking art, camps full of sunscreen and body paint, and a fantastic D&D game with some living legends, Marcus gets a visit from Masha and Zeb.

Masha has some information that she wants Marcus to get out. But by Burning Man’s end, it becomes clear that what he’s carrying may turn out to be far more than he bargained for....

[Read more]

Mon
Jul 23 2012 11:00am
Excerpt

Pirate Cinema (Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow

The Little Brother sequel, Homeland, isn’t the only Cory Doctorow book coming out this year. Read an excerpt from Doctorow’s latest tale of technological defiance, Pirate Cinema, out on October 2:

Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal.

Trent’s too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke. 

Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds….

[Read more]

Thu
Jul 19 2012 1:00pm
Excerpt

Homeland (Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow

Next up in our look at Cory Doctorow’s upcoming novels, we’ve got what many of you have been waiting for.... Take a look at the first chapters to Homeland, sequel to Little Brother, out next February!

Marcus and Ange are enjoying the annual festival Burning Man, deep in the Nevada desert. But in the midst of all the walking art, camps full of sunscreen and body paint, and a fantastic D&D game with some living legends, Marcus gets a visit from Masha and Zeb.

Masha has some information that she wants Marcus to get out. But by Burning Man’s end, it becomes clear that what he’s carrying may turn out to be far more than he bargained for....

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 18 2012 1:00pm
Excerpt

Rapture of the Nerds (Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

We’re going to take a look at Cory Doctorow’s upcoming novels this week! Let’s start with a joint work between him and Charles Stross, out on September 4 -Rapture of the Nerds:

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun. 

The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.

[Read more]

Sat
Oct 1 2011 11:30am
Excerpt

Context (Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow

Your daily food for thought comes from a selection of essays written by Cory Doctorow from is book Context, out now from Tachyon Publications.

Discussing complex topics in an accessible manner, Cory Doctorow shares visions of a future where artists control their own destinies and where freedom of expression is tempered with the view that creators need to benefit from their own creations. From extolling the Etsy marketverse to excoriating Apple for dumbing-down technology while creating an information monopoly, each unique piece is brief, witty, and at the cutting edge of tech. Now a stay-at-home dad as well as an international activist, Doctorow writes as eloquently about creating internet real-time theater with his daughter as he does in lambasting the corporations that want to limit and profit from inherent intellectual freedoms.

[Read more]

Thu
May 5 2011 10:00am
Reprint

Shannon’s Law

Cory Doctorow

Please enjoy Cory Doctorow’s short story “Shannon’s Law,” featured in the anthology Welcome to Bordertown, out May 24th from Random House. For an introduction to the world of Bordertown, click here.

***

When the Way to Bordertown closed, I was only four years old, and I was more interested in peeling the skin off my Tickle Me Elmo to expose the robot lurking inside his furry pelt than I was in networking or even plumbing the unknowable mysteries of Elfland. But a lot can change in thirteen years.

When the Way opened again, the day I turned seventeen, I didn’t hesitate. I packed everything I could carry—every scratched phone, every half-assembled laptop, every stick of memory, and every Game Boy I could fit in a duffel bag. I hit the bank with my passport and my ATM card and demanded that they turn over my savings to me, without calling my parents or any other ridiculous delay. They didn’t like it, but “It’s my money, now hand it over” is like a spell for bending bankers to your will.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 6 2011 1:00pm
Reprint

Chicken Little

Gateways: Original Stories Inspired by Frederik PohlPlease enjoy this reprint from Gateways, edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull, an anthology of original stories inspired by science fiction great Frederik Pohl. Pohl’s latest novel, All the Lives He Led, comes out on April 12th from Tor Books.

 

The first lesson Leon learned at the ad agency was: nobody is your friend at the ad agency.

Take today: Brautigan was going to see an actual vat, at an actual clinic, which housed an actual target consumer, and he wasn’t taking Leon.

“Don’t sulk, it’s unbecoming,” Brautigan said, giving him one of those tight-lipped smiles where he barely got his mouth over those big, horsey, comical teeth of his. They were disarming, those pearly whites. “It’s out of the question. Getting clearance to visit a vat in person, that’s a one-month, two-month process. Background checks. Biometrics. Interviews with their psych staff. The physicals: they have to take a census of your microbial nation. It takes time, Leon. You might be a mayfly in a mayfly hurry, but the man in the vat, he’s got a lot of time on his hands. No skin off his dick if you get held up for a month or two.”

“Bullshit,” Leon said. “It’s all a show. They’ve got a brick wall a hundred miles high around the front, and a sliding door around the back. There’s always an exception in these protocols. There has to be.”

“When you’re 180 years old and confined to a vat, you don’t make exceptions. Not if you want to go on to 181.”

[Read more]

Thu
May 13 2010 9:30am
Excerpt

For the Win (Excerpt)

For Poesy: Live as though it were the early days of a better nation.

Part I: The gamers and their games, the workers at their work

In the game, Matthew’s characters killed monsters, as they did every single night. But tonight, as Matthew thoughtfully chopsticked a dumpling out of the styrofoam clamshell, dipped it in the red hot sauce and popped it into his mouth, his little squadron did something extraordinary: they began to win.

There were eight monitors on his desk, arranged in two ranks of four, the top row supported on a shelf he’d bought from an old lady scrap dealer in front of the Dongmen market. She’d also sold him the monitors, shaking her head at his idiocy: at a time when everyone wanted giant, 30” screens, why did he want this collection of dinky little 9” displays?

So they’d all fit on his desk.

Not many people could play eight simultaneous games of Svartalfaheim Warriors. For one thing, Coca Cola (who owned the game), had devoted a lot of programmer time to preventing you from playing more than one game on a single PC, so you had to somehow get eight PCs onto one desk, with eight keyboards and eight mice on the desk, too, and room enough for your dumplings and an ashtray and a stack of Indian comic books and that stupid war-axe that Ping gave him and his notebooks and his sketchbook and his laptop and—

It was a crowded desk.

Fri
Jan 8 2010 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 81 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Suzanne came home a week later and found them sitting up in the living room. They’d pushed all the furniture up against the walls and covered the floor with board-game boards, laid edge-to-edge or overlapping. They had tokens, cards and money from several of the games laid out around the rims of the games.

“What the blistering fuck?” she said good naturedly. Lester had told her that Perry was around, so she’d been prepared for something odd, but this was pretty amazing, even so. Lester held up a hand for silence and rolled two dice. They skittered across the floor, one of them slipping through the heating-grating.

“Three points,” Perry said. “One for not going into the grating, two for going into the grating.”

“I thought we said it was two points for not going into the grating, and one for dropping it?”

“Let’s call it 1.5 points for each.”

[“Gentlemen,” Suzanne said, “I believe I asked a question? To wit, ‘What the blistering fuck—’”]

Wed
Jan 6 2010 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 80 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

In the morning, he prowled Lester and Suzanne’s place like a burglar. The guesthouse had once served as Lester’s workshop and it had the telltale leavings of a busy inventor—drawers and tubs of parts, a moldy coffee-cup in a desk-drawer, pens and toys and unread postal spam in piles. What it didn’t have was a kitchen, so Perry helped himself to the key that Lester had left him with the night before and wandered around the big house, looking for the kitchen.

It turned out to be on the second floor, a bit of weird architectural design that was characteristic of the place, which had started as a shack in the hills on several acres of land and then grown and grown as successive generations of owners had added extensions, seismic retrofitting, and new floors.

Perry found the pantries filled with high-tech MREs, each nutritionally balanced and fortified in ways calculated to make Lester as healthy as possible. Finally, he found a small cupboard clearly devoted to Suzanne’s eating, with boxes of breakfast cereal and, way in the back, a little bag of Oreos. He munched thoughtfully on the cookies while drinking more of the flat, thrice-distilled water.

He heard Lester totter into a bathroom on the floor above, and called “Good morning,” up a narrow, winding staircase.

[More below the fold ...]

Mon
Jan 4 2010 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 79 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Perry and Lester rode in the back of the company car, the driver an old Armenian who’d fled Azerbaijan, whom Lester introduced as Kapriel. It seemed that Lester and Kapriel were old friends, which made sense, since Lester couldn’t drive himself, and in Los Angeles, you didn’t go anywhere except by car. The relationship between a man and his driver would be necessarily intimate.

Perry couldn’t bring himself to feel envious of Lester having a chauffeured car, though it was clear that Lester was embarrassed by the luxury. It was too much like an invalid’s subsidy to feel excessive.

[More below the fold ...]

Fri
Jan 1 2010 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 78 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Lester’s workshop had a sofa where he entertained visitors and took his afternoon nap. Normally, he’d use his cane to cross from his workbench to the sofa, but seeing Perry threw him for such a loop that he completely forgot until he was a pace or two away from it and then he found himself flailing for support as his hips started to give way. Perry caught him under the shoulders and propped him up. Lester felt a rush of shame color his cheeks.

[More below the fold ...]

Wed
Dec 30 2009 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 77 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Epilogue

Lester was in his workshop when Perry came to see him. He had the yoga mat out and he was going through the slow exercises that his physiotherapist had assigned to him, stretching his crumbling bones and shrinking muscles, trying to keep it all together. He’d fired three physios, but Suzanne kept finding him new ones, and (because she loved him) prettier ones.

[More below the fold ...]

Mon
Dec 28 2009 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 76 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Perry ground his teeth and squeezed his beer. The idea of doing this in a big group had seemed like a good idea. Dirty Max’s was certainly full of camaraderie, the smell of roasting meat and the chatter of nearly a hundred voices. He heard Hilda laughing at something Lester said to her, and there were Kettlewell and his kids, fingers and faces sticky with sauce.

Lester had set up the projector and they’d hung sheets over one of the murals for a screen, and brought out a bunch of wireless speakers that they’d scattered around the courtyard. It looked, smelled, sounded, and tasted like a carnival.

But Perry couldn’t meet anyone’s eye. He just wanted to go home and get under the covers. They were about to destroy Freddy, which had also seemed like a hell of a lark at the time, but now—

[More below the fold ...]

Fri
Dec 25 2009 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 75 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

By the time the call came, Sammy was ready to explode. He got in a golf cart and headed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which backed onto the safari park portion of the Animal Kingdom. He snuck himself onto the roof of the ground hotel, which had a commanding view of the artificial savanna. He watched a family of giraffes graze, using the zoom on his phone to resolve the hypnotic patterns of the little calf. It calmed him. But the sound of his phone ringing startled him so much he nearly did a half-gainer off the roof. Heart hammering, he answered it.

[More below the fold ...]

Wed
Dec 23 2009 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 74 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

Suzanne didn’t knock on Lester’s door. Lester would fall into place, once Perry was in.

She found him working the ride, Hilda back in the maintenance bay, tweaking some of the robots. His arm was out of the cast, but it was noticeably thinner than his good left arm, weak and pale and flabby.

“Hello, Suzanne.” He was formal, like he always was these days, and it saddened her, but she pressed on.

[“Perry, we need to shut down for a while, it’s urgent.”]

Mon
Dec 21 2009 9:00am

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 73 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

It took IT three days to get Sammy his computer back. His secretary managed as best as she could, but he wasn’t able to do much without it.

When he got it back at last, he eagerly downloaded his backlog of mail. It beggared the imagination. Even after auto-filtering it, there were hundreds of new messages, things he had to pay real attention to. When he was dealing with this stuff in little spurts every few minutes all day long, it didn’t seem like much, but it sure piled up.

He enlisted his secretary to help him with sorting and responding. After an hour she forwarded one back to him with a bold red flag.

[More below the fold ...]