By Cory Doctorow
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765312792, 416pp.)
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother, a major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America
Perry and Lester invent things—seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the “New Work,” a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups like Perry and Lester’s. Together, they transform the country, and Andrea Fleeks, a journo-turned-blogger, is there to document it.
Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot.combomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Wal-Marts across the land. As their rides, which commemorate the New Work’s glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lester’s 3D printers are being used to run off AK-47s.
Hordes of goths descend on the shantytown built by the New Workers, joining the cult. Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perry’s friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the ‘fatkins’ treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo.
Then things get really interesting.
Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the science fiction novels Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, and Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, as well as two short story collections. He is also the author of young adult novels including the New York Times bestselling Little Brother and For the Win. His novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He is co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing, and has been named one of the Web’s twenty-five “influencers” by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
“I know many science fiction writers engaged in the cyber-world, but Cory Doctorow is a native. We should all hope and trust that our culture has the guts and moxie to follow this guy. He’s got a lot to tell us.” —Bruce Sterling
“A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion—as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane.” —Scott Westerfeld on Little Brother
“A terrific read…. It claims a place in the tradition of polemical science-fiction novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 (with a dash of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).”
—The New York Times Book Review on Little Brother “Enthralling…. One of the year’s most important books.” —Chicago Tribune on Little Brother