Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
January 10, 2003 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Cory Doctorow's first novel, "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" has been published. Although a first novel by a science-fiction writer coming out is always cool, this one is not only published in dead-tree format by a major publisher, it's available for free online under the Creative Commons license. Much whuffie to Cory.
posted by GriffX (10 comments total)
Not only is publishing it under the CC license very cool, but it's actually a pretty damn good read. I read about half of it last night, will finish it tonight.
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:18 PM on January 10, 2003

It is a hell of a read. I read it, and am going to ask my local indie bookstore to order the hardcover edition for me since they usually order a couple of whatever a customer requests.
posted by GriffX at 6:28 PM on January 10, 2003

Yeah, I was pretty pleased to find I liked this book. Judging from some of the things he's written, and some of the things he's said when interviewed, he seems to think very similarly to me about a lot of things. Based just on his public persona, I like him a lot, so I really wanted to be able to like his fiction too.

I just didn't with the short stories though. They were OK, but they always felt to me a bit like the rough manuscript your friend gave you to read. It's OK, but just not 100% professional. All of the haxor speak and forced digs at MicroSoft not only don't feel like the future to me, they don't even really feel like the past either. It's all just very forced.

Down and Out suffers from that a little bit. I wish the bitchun society had been called something cooler/more believable, and whuffie is kind of a corny name, but while those took me out of the story a little, they're minor complaints. Mainly the story's a good read, and I was very happy to find I did like it. I will probably buy a copy (which I wouldn't have done if he hadn't released a free digital version into the world).
posted by willnot at 6:37 PM on January 10, 2003

posted by Succa at 10:09 AM on January 11, 2003

Ahh, whuffie.
posted by Succa at 10:10 AM on January 11, 2003

Is it sad that I know of several fanfiction stories that are much bigger than this novel?

That's the problem with putting your novels online -- you realize that your novel just isn't getting the traffic as that 600k Kirk & Spock love affair epic some middle-aged housewife in Iowa wrote.
posted by Katemonkey at 10:42 AM on January 11, 2003

I wish *I* lived in a Whuffie-based ad-hocracy . . .
posted by vraxoin at 11:27 AM on January 11, 2003

Yes, much whuffie to Cory for keeping Rudy Rucker's tradition of silly nomenclature alive. Stuzzy.
posted by rainking at 2:29 PM on January 11, 2003

it was pretty good -- i found it's a completely different dynamic to read a full novel in html -- although it's quite short. Dead tree version coming by amazon, in lieu of aforementioned whuffie.

I'd love to see someone try to standardize whuffie -- some sort of XML transaction maybe? I'd also love to see more of Cory's ideas on how such a scheme could work -- if they have to pay for a scarce resource (imagineers and their equipment, for instance), does that debit their own whuffie account? If so, what about non-scarce items? This would all have to be worked out somehow.
posted by condour75 at 6:15 PM on January 12, 2003

It was not bad. It was not, however, a novel.
posted by kindall at 10:06 PM on January 12, 2003

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