Sunday, July 03, 2005

Book Number 22

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003) by Cory Doctorow


The first thing I have to say about this book is that it is the first novel that I have read in it's entirety in an alternative format. I downloaded it onto my treo and read it slowly over many transit trips. Kudos to Cory Doctorow for working towards a new paradigm in publishing and making all of his published novels available in a variety of free downloadable formats in addition to their publication in meatspace.

This is a sci-fi book that occurs in a future society called Bitchun Society. It is a highly technological world where people can live indefinitely. They have the option of 'deadheading', a a form of cryo-sleep or just having a backup of themselves put into a newly cloned body. For all the idealism of the utopic world there is still a lot of dissention and desire for nostalgic input.

The story concerns Jules, a disaffected intellectual who lives and works in the Macic Kingdom, Disneyland. He and his girlfrind are part of a group that take care of one of the exhibits. There are forces at work who are in the process of trying to supplant his peoples traditionalist upkeep.

This was , for me, not an incredibly absorbing book. It is a first novel in many ways; the plot is weaker than the detailed and complex world he has created. Doctorow's book, however, deserve further exploration and I have downloaded his latest, 'Someone Comes To Town, someone Leaves Town'. Stay tuned.

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