Living in a Sci-Fi Novel

What Do We Do Now, Cory Doctorow?



I wish Doctorow were just a little bit better writer - or not better, exactly, but perhaps a little more lyrical. A little more literary, a little less like his books were just long-format blogs. The ideas are there, though, and he's fun to read.

And anyway, even if the genre has gone mainstream and thereby vastly diminished the signal-to-noise ratio of real ideas to dressed-up thrillers, there are still really good voices out there. For my part I find it easier to find them in short fiction, most of the time, than on the novel shelf. One of the things I like about Cory Doctorow is that I'm just as likely to hear him in a podcast - I figure the people who are supposed to be dreaming the future ought to be amenable to modern distribution formats, you know?
Wow Paul, those first few paragraphs are one of the most insightful things I have read in the stranger. I wish I would have remembered Doctorow was going to be at the Sunset tonight I would have taken the night off.
I've read a lot of Robert Anton Wilson's books and I've been sad since he died. He seemed to explain in beautiful writing his own answers to the above questions (your reference to Obama made me reflect on Eve Hubbard in Schrodinger's Cat). I'm interested to read DoctorOw because it sounds as though he could come from the same vein. Yet Balderdash's comment discourages me.

"white keys on white plastic, the colorless allcolor of antiseptic sterility"
While I have nothing against Doctorow, he's kind of mediocre, certainly nothing in the class of an Iain Banks ("The Player of Games" is awesome on some many levels) or S.M. Stirling.

Now while I agree with the gist of what Constant is saying, I have to place it in his usual category of submediocre prattling, given his rigid and inflexible political stance on so many subjects.

Say, for instance, his "manufactured consent" agreement with "moving on" with regard to the most important issues and crimes of our day, such as those events surround 9/11/01.

Interestingly, Constant mentions the lack of privacy, as on the bottom of page 930, in the 9/11/01 Commission Report, the Markle Foundation advises the adoption of a national identity card.

Of far more importance, though, is the connection of the local Fox (Channel 13) station's withholding of a newsworthy video of police interaction with a possible suspect to those events surrounding 9/11/01, which Paul Constant believes is deserving of no further investigation (Foxtards and Rupert Murdoch are in full agreement with you, Paulie, dood!).

Because Fox has already won several legal cases (the Florida case garnered the most attention) stating that they have the "legal right" to falsify or withhold the news, and because that neocon law firm won it for them, and because a senior partner of that neocon law firm, and continuous donor to the Bush campaigns, was involved in the Flight 800 investigation, because he was married, and because an attorney with the same neocon law firm, an attractive young female attorney rumored to having been close to said senior law partner, died aboard one of those four airliners that day, as did the then Solicitor General's third wife (he's since moved on to his fourth), certain questions might be raised on this most important matter.

And because some of the passengers on that horrendous day, aboard those four airliners, fell into three unique categories (one of them being specific individuals involved in the investigation of Flight 800 -- as well as another group involved with remote piloting hardware/software development, and yet another category involved with the creation of a remarkably similar counter-terrorist simulation, remarkably similar to those events which transpired on 9/11/01), moving on appears to be the last political act any responsible American citizen should year for, yet Paul Constant, as bewildering and confusing as usual in his muddled thinking, wishes for just that action.

I guess your previous mindless meanderings have completely negated and nullified this article, huh, Paulie????
I take exception to your implication that Neil Gaiman is a Science Fiction writer who has sold out and is churning out drivel to appease the masses. He isn't a scifi author, he is a fantasy author, and while his works might not tell us how we're supposed to deal with today's technology, they do tell us stories about characters who fight to do the right thing in worlds containing evil, which is at least as important a message.
Agreed on just about every comment here. Doctorow's ideas are excellent, and his politics I love. The site which he posts on a lot, when not masturbating itself over girls with ukeleles or jumping last on memes like lolcats, is a pretty good place to interact with him and hear the latest on his articles on maker and digital freedoms.

His books have awesome ideas, and his ideas make me want him to be my favorite author (does that even make any sense??), but he is only a good author and not a great one. I'd rather see him as a world leader to be honest.
@7 So he's not a great artist but would make a great world leader. Hitler?
I like Cory, but I cannot help but feel that he's usually 3 years behind the real developments within the digital culture. It makes it seem rather incorrect when he's touted as the freshest kid on the block. Maybe we move so fast now that the inevitable delay involved in writing a book makes it impossible for it to not feel a little stale.
Oh, god. Not this douchebage. Can't he stick to posting breathless reports on boingboing about his lasting 'Little Brother' readings? Of course, you can't comment on boingboing if you don't express total love and admiration for every idea Doctorow and company have.
Paul, your writing is ace here.

You also finally sold me on picking up one of his books to give him a whirl. I've been reading his essays and BB since the 90s, but for some reason I've always held off.

As soon as I'm done rereading Vinge's A Fire Upon The Deep, which should I try of Doctorows?
What @11 said. Great write-up. Now I'm anxious to finish the book I'm on and find some Doctorow.
@ 10. That sounds a lot like The Stranger.
Good job Paul!
Did anyone else catch this press release? Very gruesome and very real. FORMER BOND GIRL DEVOURED BY MASSIVE SHARK
see exclusive video:…
@6: I love Gaiman. Gaiman is the artist that Doctorow wishes he could be. Any smart author today would love to have Gaiman's skill at setting tone and his inventive wordplay, but his works are so apolitical as to have no larger meaning. "Choose good over evil" is not a particularly deep or riveting stance. The interesting questions are things like "What is evil? Why does evil not always look like evil at the time? What are the evils of today and tomorrow that we should guard against?" Doctorow wrestles with these questions in ways that Gaiman does not.

Leguin, on the other hand, was (at her best) a fantasy writer who managed to combine art and social commentary in a beautiful way.