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Shannon's Law
May 6, 2011 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Shannon's Law: a story about bridging Faerie and the mundane world with TCP-over-magic. From the forthcoming Welcome to Bordertown anthology. [Via]
posted by homunculus (20 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck & Yes. Cannot wait for the Anthology. Loved the stories from the 80's.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:46 PM on May 6, 2011


Ooh, thank you! I've read Emma Bull's Bordertown story and liked it. Well, actually I like virtually anything by Emma Bull, but that's another story. I didn't realize it was a series though.

And it has Charles de Lint too. I love his Someplace to Be Flying, which is the first Urban Fantasy I've read, and one of the best. Fascinating re-imaging of native american mythology and some unforgettable characters. Hank and his off-the-radar life by choice, Jack the storyteller, and of course, the innocent and threatening Crow Girls.

I'll be getting this ASAP.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 11:57 PM on May 6, 2011


Fantasy internet; Terry Pratchett did it.
posted by Joe Chip at 1:48 AM on May 7, 2011


Available in audio in the current episode of Escape Pod (and presumably eventually in the .pdf print version.)

(Full disclosure: I slush for EP, though I didn't have anything to do with this story. :-P)
posted by Scattercat at 2:17 AM on May 7, 2011


I loved the Borderlands anthologies. I'll definitely pick up the new one, but I remember how well the (was it only 8?) stories began and ended. The first story of the first book dealt with the early days, and the final story of the second book essentially closed it, Bordertown having been co-opted, turned largely harmless, and the cast and characters of earlier stories having become mostly rumors and legends in a bland and vaguely disneyfied setting. I remember crying the first time I read that story, feeling as if I had personally lost something wonderful. I read most of the other books and stories that came out, but they never quite captured the power of the first two books for me.

Still, with a new book coming out, it might well be time to jump back in and revisit the old books as well.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:43 AM on May 7, 2011


Huh. Having just read through the story... I don't think I'd ever really understood the virulent dislike for Doctorow that seems to pervade this site. That said, I don't like his take, and honestly, I'm not sure that I want him writing about Bordertown, as petulently selfish as that sounds. On the other hand, I'm curious to see what Gaiman wrote about it, and to read Bull and de Lint's stories.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:12 AM on May 7, 2011


I loved Bordertown when it first came out. I haven't reread the books in years, for fear that I would discover that the stories were not as good as I remembered. Maybe this would be a safer approach....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:39 AM on May 7, 2011


by Cory Doctorow

*grabs popcorn*
posted by delmoi at 6:01 AM on May 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, it's like someone took a copy of every Wired magazine written in the 1990s, shredded them, and then smoked all in one huge bong.
posted by delmoi at 7:08 AM on May 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Fantasy internet; Terry Pratchett did it.

Er, not really. The Clacks are stand ins for long range commication like telegrams along with C-Mail, but they don't really do any of the mass commication or even message boardy stuff. Although the depiction of an analog " computer virus" in Going Postal was suberb, this fantasy Internet seems a bit more about connecting two realms over the Internet, which sounds wonderful and I can't believe I've never heard of this series before.

What should I read if I liked this story, and I did, and I want to read more set in this universe?

( if you want to get picky, what about the Support Your Local Wizard books where an early apple laptop is a dangerous magical device cause it can do spells really, really fast with anyone at the helm? )
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on May 7, 2011


Well, the original books, as mentioned, were Bordertown and Borderland, though I don't remember which came first. Both were pretty amazing, and, as far as I can recall, really signalled the birth of urban fantasy, with authors like Bull, de Lint and (Mefi's own) Shetterly writing some pretty amazing stories (Shetterly, I think, later had a Borderlands novel). It's technically YA, but I'd say it was still damn good fiction, and worth checking out. I'll definitely be getting the new anthology, regardless of how I felt about this story.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:53 AM on May 7, 2011


Or, y'know, check out the wikipedia page. The story I remember being incredibly sad was Mockery, the last story from Bordertown.

Looking at it now, there was the book Life on the Border, which I vaguely remember reading, which came out in 91. I didn't know there was another anthology (The Essential Bordertown) that came out in 98. The novels were Elsewhere and Nevernever (both by Will Shetterly) and Finder (by Emma Bull). I know I've read them, and I remember really enjoying them, too. I'm pretty sure, though, that the series has bounced around between in print and out. I'm hoping it will come back into print with the release of the new book.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:59 AM on May 7, 2011


Man, that book has the least searchable title ever.
posted by felix at 9:30 AM on May 7, 2011


I'm normally a huge fan of the Technomagic, magitek, whatever trope but I couldn't stomach the story. Is every Doctorow story basically the same? Like how every Ramones song sounds the same, if you coarse-grain a little?

Magic, Inc by Heinlein is so much better, or its spiritual sequels like Operation Chaos and Operation Luna by Poul Anderson.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:54 AM on May 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Tor site has the list of books, and sadly, most of them are out of print, though they're saying that they plan on bringing them back as ebooks, but no dates are given.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:43 PM on May 7, 2011


I'm normally a huge fan of the Technomagic, magitek, whatever trope but I couldn't stomach the story. Is every Doctorow story basically the same? Like how every Ramones song sounds the same, if you coarse-grain a little?

That's what got me too. Did it have a cory insertion character? Check! Needless detail in the technobabble? Check? Smoken hot available opposite sex character for self insertion cory to have sex with at some point? Check!

I did like that the somewhat somber non-"we were awesome and totally changed the world" tone of the end, but I almost have to assume that's because Cory couldn't upset the status quo of the world.

Still, given a mystical town half in the land of the Fae, where technology and magic mix, I could definitely see myself trying to get tcp/ip over magic.
posted by zabuni at 6:46 PM on May 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's what got me too. Did it have a cory insertion character? Check! Needless detail in the technobabble? Check? Smoken hot available opposite sex character for self insertion cory to have sex with at some point? Check!

Yup. It’s as Doctorow-y as it gets.

The guy has such an unbelievable hard-on for technologically driven societal change. It makes you think he secretly wishes he were, say, Tim Berners-Lee.
posted by spitefulcrow at 11:47 AM on May 8, 2011


Science fiction has always had these kinds of self-insertion characters. I understand Heinlein is loaded with them.
posted by JHarris at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've read some Emma Bull and Charles De Lint. One book each, actually. They're nice, but they seem a bit TOO nice or cosy.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:44 PM on May 8, 2011


I like the idea of communicating with an alien world over the internet.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on May 8, 2011


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