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Preview — Makers by Cory Doctorow
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What does the future look like? A brilliantly entertaining and original novel about the end of the economy from the visionary author of Little Brother.
Perry and Lester invent things. All sorts of things. Seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent an entirely new economic system. 'New Work' is a New Deal for the technological...more
It's not the concepts or politics that made me angry - I'm familiar with Doctorow's agenda, and I agree with most of it. I'm a lefty, I'm interested in technology and decentralized/local production of goods and services, I think activism can be important, and I think copyright is broken. I didn't ...more
But then a whole plot appears and it's compelling. The book doesn't quit bringing new ideas and twists and I really like how it follow ...more
The book has a non-traditional story arc. The narrative doesn't go where you think it's going to go at any point in time, and resists attempts to categorise it. Some people may feel it that it meanders, or that it doesn't have a point. I am okay with this.
All of the characters are flawed. There is not a single ...more
Focussing on a very near, wholly believable future, the story kicks off brilliantly, the characters start out interesting but then - nothing. The characters quickly merge and become indistinguishable, so that you have to work rather too hard to keep up with who’s doing what, where and why. What story there is is so heavily padd ...more
This realistic sci-fi story takes place in the near future where economic woes have left corporations as shel ...more
The first half of this book is simply a message with a story slathered thinly on top. The practically all-male cast is cardboard and hollow, and their characters seem to be half developed based on what clothes they wear and food they eat. The female main character is a Mary Sue who can do little wrong (every single male character professes himself in love with her at some point). The other female characters are weird wish fulfillment girl (a college ...more
Perry and Lester are a couple of tinkering tech whizzes whose tastes and talents gear towards fabricating new, cool stuff out of junk. Bankrolled by biz visionary Kettlewell, and media-documented by the astute tech chronicler Suzanne Church, they manage to spawn a whole new approach to goods production, The New Work, and in the process rehabilitate a squat site ...more
I read this book after I had read Doctorow's Little Brother; the two have very strong similarities in plot structure. It's a serviceable - if a bit transparent - structure, but the girders and siding are definitely showing after reading both of these books.
This isn't surprising - both books are idea books. Where Little Brother is concerned with personal freedoms ...more
The novel is purposely designed to force the reader to make moral judgments and avoid easy answers:
-- Lester and Perry make different choices at the end. Which one is more realistic about the nature of capitalism. Which is the more moral choice? Are they both fantasists?
-- Can you morally coexist with the MBA types? Is the company structure the only effective way to get things done?
-- Are ...more
Lots of interesting but weak ideas. Barely adequate characters. A sex scene that I didn't dislike as much as others but it was as out of place as a tuxedo on a frog (yeah, I know, Hello, mah honey, helo, mah baby ...). A Heinleinesque style where the world has three incredibly smart people and six billion morons. Cory's Disney obsession again.
Two things in particular wrecked it for me.
First, the assumption that within a few short years, you can put generic goop into a 3D printer ...more
If you follow the Boing Boing web site, you'll be familiar with the themes expressed in Makers, Cory Doctorow's "Novel of the Whirlwind Changes to Come." If you've read Ayn Rand, you'll be familiar with Cory's writing style and pacing. If you've ever made a list of two hundred techno-geek words and thought about using them in a book, you'll be familiar with Cory Doctorow's method. I was ready to quit after one chapter, but told myself I'd plod on until Cory started to in ...more
Cory Doctorow also continues his fascination and love/hate relationship with Disney. The only other book of his I've read, Down and Out in the Mag ...more
Later sections of the book we ...more
You know in the first episode of Firefly, when Mal kicks open Simon's cooler (spoiler!), and looks in to see a naked girl inside? He peers down and then says, "...Huh." That's kind of my reaction to this book. It started out absolutely un-put-downable, fascinating and ebullient. Then it kind of dragged in the middle. By 2/3 of the way through I just wanted to finish so I could be finished, though it warmed up a little towards the end. I really don't know what to make of the book as a whole. ...more
The sub-idea of obesity in north America caused by such establishments as IHOP was also an interesting addition to the whole (I learned today, as a matter of fact, that we have f ...more
This book, set from the 20-teens and on, describes a New Work economy and its after-effects. It sounded like an interesting premise: a pair of Florida hacker/inventors work with 3-dee printers to create facsimiles of three-dimensional objects. They begin making kitschy, retro objects ...more