Synopses & Reviews
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 Lesters. 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 Works glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lesters 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 Perrys friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the ‘fatkins treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo.
Then things get really interesting.
"In this tour de force, Doctorow (Little Brother) uses the contradictions of two overused SF themes the decline and fall of America and the boundless optimism of open source/hacker culture to draw one of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades. Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks, typical brilliant geeks in a garage, are trash-hackers who find inspiration in the growing pile of technical junk. Attracting the attention of suits and smart reporter Suzanne Church, the duo soon get involved with cheap and easy 3D printing, a cure for obesity and crowd-sourced theme parks. The result is bitingly realistic and miraculously avoids clich or predictability. While dates and details occasionally contradict one another, Doctorow's combination of business strategy, brilliant product ideas and laugh-out-loud moments of insight will keep readers powering through this quick-moving tale." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“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. Hes 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 years most important books.” —Chicago Tribune on Little Brother
“Doctorows combination of business strategy, brilliant product ideas, and laugh-out-loud moments of insight will keep readers powering through this quick-moving tale.” — Publishers Weekly
, starred review
“Appealing characters and extremely interesting ideas that will appeal to his fans and SF aficionados as well as readers interested in cogitating on the social consequences of cybertechnologys nearexponential growth. Enthusiastically recommended.” — Library Journal, starred review
“This is just one king-hell of a science fiction novel. Nobody in the world but [Doctorow] could have fabricated this amazing thing. It reads like it was written in 800-word van Vogt bursts in between yoga sessions, but man, this is the stuff. It makes twentieth century science fiction read like an antique collection.” —Bruce Sterling
Perry and Lester invent things: seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems. When Kodak and Duracell are broken up for parts by sharp venture capitalists, Perry and Lester help to invent the “New Work,” a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups. Together, they transform the nation and blogger Andrea Fleeks is there to document it.
Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot-bomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Walmarts across the land. As their rides gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive engineers a savage attack on the rides by convincing the police that their 3D printers are being used to make AK-47s.
Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perrys friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the fatkins treatment, which turns him into a sybaritic gigolo.
Then things get really interesting.
About the Author
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 Webs twenty-five “influencers” by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.