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1 Hawthorne Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

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Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Cover

ISBN13: 9780765312808
ISBN10: 0765312808
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alan is a middle-aged entrepreneur in contemporary Toronto who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in the bohemian neighborhood of Kensington. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman, who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings — wings, moreover, that grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain, his mother is a washing machine, and among his brothers is a set of Russian nesting dolls. Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstepwell on their way to starvation because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, whom Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned....bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who build miracles of hardware scavenged from the city's Dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone — and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

Review:

"It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being — or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge. Life gets even more chaotic after he becomes the lover and protector of the girl next door, whom he tries to restrain from periodically cutting off her wings. Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) treats these and other bizarre images and themes with deadpan wit. In this inventive parable about tolerance and acceptance, he demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist. Agent, Russell Galen. (May 5) FYI: Doctorow won the 2000 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The combination of Alan facing up to his family and their strangeness, the damage his dead brother will do to everything Alan cares about, and Doctorow's inescapable technological enthusiasm eventuates in a lovely, satisfying tale." Booklist

Review:

"Fine modern fantasy...with the potential to please both SF and mainstream readers....Smart, clever, delightful stuff; it falls short of perfect...but it's still likely to be one of the better non-magic-and-dragon fantasies this year." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Cory Doctorow adroitly interconnects these peculiar plots...and successfully experiments with a risky prose style. But if there is an allegory buried in this mountain, it got lost in the washing machine. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Doctorow breaks new ground....Magical realism and literary iconoclasm abound in a novel that should appeal to fans of experimental fiction in a near-future setting." Library Journal

Review:

"Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you've ever read." Gene Wolfe

Review:

"[B]lends ordinary technology, nerdista tech, myth, horror, sheer astonishing silliness, and the Aspergerish quest of the outsider into a demented non-stop juggling act..." Damien Broderick, Locus

Review:

"Dazzles....What probably carries the whole project is Doctorow's deft, deep depiction of his characters. I have to say that he's never done a better job of limning real people....This essential believability pulls us in, easing our acceptance of any grotesqueries." Paul Di Filippo, SciFi.com

Review:

"Magical realism and literary iconoclasm abound in a novel that should appeal to fans of experimental fiction in a near-future setting." Library Journal

Review:

"The one that puts [Doctorow] over the top as one of the rare, demonically original, challenging and gifted writers." Thomas M. Wagner, SFReviews

Synopsis:

One of the leading voices of next-generation SF and author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom returns with a miraculous novel of secrets, lies, magic, and Internet connectivity, set on the streets of modern-day Toronto.

Synopsis:

A miraculous novel of secrets, lies, magic--and Internet connectivity

Synopsis:

"Fresh and unconventional . . .Doctorow demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist."

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

"Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you've ever read."

--Gene Wolfe

"His best work to date."

--Toronto Globe and Mail

Synopsis:

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the UK coordinator for Creative Commons and the European Affairs Coordinator of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing, with nearly a million visitors a month; he also maintains a personal site at www.craphound.com. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the 2000 Hugo Awards. His other books include two previous novels, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Eastern Standard Tribe, and a story collection, A Place So Foreign and Eight More.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Mark Gladding, January 17, 2008 (view all comments by Mark Gladding)
The story starts out reasonably normal. The main character, Alan, buys a house, moves into the neighbourhood, renovates the house, meets his neighbours and plans to write a novel. It's only when Alan starts to recount his past that we realize that he's had a rather strange upbringing. Initially I thought Alan was speaking metaphorically when he referred to his father as the mountain and one of his brother's as an island. However when his mother is revealed to be a washing machine, and three of his brothers a trio of nesting dolls, each born 30 days apart in three violent spin cycles, there's no doubt this is not your average family.

Unlike his brothers, Alan is outwardly normal and the story traces his attempts to fit into society and lead a normal life. Along the way he meets Kurt, a punk who's main passion is dumpster diving for discarded tech that he can recycle and sell on eBay in order to finance the free wireless mesh network that he's rolling out in his neighbourhood. Alan quickly joins his cause and the two become fast friends.

I loved the idea of the free mesh network, so it was an amazing coincidence when Bruce Schneier wrote in Wired magazine last week that he ran an open wireless router and urged people to `Steal this Wi-Fi`.

I particularly enjoyed Cory's writing style. He seems to be able to paint the most vivid of scenes using just a few, well chosen words. I felt like I was right there with the characters, able to taste, touch, hear and see everything they experienced.

The one thing I didn't like was the way Cory keep changing the names of Alan and his family throughout the entire book. Perhaps it was meant to show that they were all trying to fight for a real identity in normal society but I just found it annoying. The only consolation was each brother always had a name starting with the same letter and this letter was determined by their birth order (i.e. Alan was the oldest, George the youngest).

All in all Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is an imaginative, entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Highly Recommended!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780765312808
Author:
Doctorow, Cory
Publisher:
Tor Books
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Internet
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.24 x 5.5 x 0.89 in

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Tor Books - English 9780765312808 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being — or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge. Life gets even more chaotic after he becomes the lover and protector of the girl next door, whom he tries to restrain from periodically cutting off her wings. Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) treats these and other bizarre images and themes with deadpan wit. In this inventive parable about tolerance and acceptance, he demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist. Agent, Russell Galen. (May 5) FYI: Doctorow won the 2000 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The combination of Alan facing up to his family and their strangeness, the damage his dead brother will do to everything Alan cares about, and Doctorow's inescapable technological enthusiasm eventuates in a lovely, satisfying tale."
"Review" by , "Fine modern fantasy...with the potential to please both SF and mainstream readers....Smart, clever, delightful stuff; it falls short of perfect...but it's still likely to be one of the better non-magic-and-dragon fantasies this year."
"Review" by , "Cory Doctorow adroitly interconnects these peculiar plots...and successfully experiments with a risky prose style. But if there is an allegory buried in this mountain, it got lost in the washing machine. (Grade: B-)"
"Review" by , "Doctorow breaks new ground....Magical realism and literary iconoclasm abound in a novel that should appeal to fans of experimental fiction in a near-future setting."
"Review" by , "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you've ever read."
"Review" by , "[B]lends ordinary technology, nerdista tech, myth, horror, sheer astonishing silliness, and the Aspergerish quest of the outsider into a demented non-stop juggling act..."
"Review" by , "Dazzles....What probably carries the whole project is Doctorow's deft, deep depiction of his characters. I have to say that he's never done a better job of limning real people....This essential believability pulls us in, easing our acceptance of any grotesqueries."
"Review" by , "Magical realism and literary iconoclasm abound in a novel that should appeal to fans of experimental fiction in a near-future setting."
"Review" by , "The one that puts [Doctorow] over the top as one of the rare, demonically original, challenging and gifted writers."
"Synopsis" by , One of the leading voices of next-generation SF and author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom returns with a miraculous novel of secrets, lies, magic, and Internet connectivity, set on the streets of modern-day Toronto.
"Synopsis" by ,
A miraculous novel of secrets, lies, magic--and Internet connectivity

"Synopsis" by ,
"Fresh and unconventional . . .Doctorow demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist."

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

"Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you've ever read."

--Gene Wolfe

"His best work to date."

--Toronto Globe and Mail

"Synopsis" by ,
Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

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