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Overclocked: More Stories of the Future Present

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Now available for the first time with two additional stories!

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be bitten by a zombie or live through a bioweapon attack? In Cory Doctorow's collection of novellas, he wields his formidable experience in technology and computing to give us mind-bending sci-fi tales that explore the possibilities of information technology--and its vario
Paperback, 438 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Blackstone Publishing
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J.D. Lasica
What we have in “Overclocked” is a passionate, smart collection of shorts and novellas that plies the territory of speculative sci-fi with an absurdist, cyberpunk edge. It reminds one of the Netflix series “Black Mirror,” a sci-fi anthology that explores a twisted high-tech near future—except in “Overclocked” a ray of hope often pierces the darkness.

Some of these stories are vintage, dating back to 2005-2007 when the Web was still a gangly teenager, while other tales are more recent, but all tak
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbub
Cory Doctorow has this thing he does. Reading a number of his stories in a collection together makes it more obvious than reading one here and another there, with long gaps between, so let's see if I can articulate what that thing is.

Firstly, he takes a big, unlikely premise based on exaggerating present technopolitical conflicts.

Then he pushes it all the way over the top, and takes it to an unrealistically dystopian place with no apparent way out.

Meanwhile, he distracts you with fireworks: b
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, futurology
I’ve read a couple of Doctorow’s novels and liked them, so thought I would also be enlightened by his short story collection. As with most such collections, some stories were hits and some were misses. I judge these by the story, and since we’re talking sci fi, by the worlds conjectured. Some of the stories seemed too weird to represent a future state, but were written to make a statement. I’m specifically thinking about “I, Row-Boat”. Not my favorite. I did enjoy “After the Siege” for its gritt ...more
Stanley Hutchings
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of science fiction
A great collection of science fiction stories. Eight different stories of possible (I must say fascinating but improbable) futures on a variety of themes "ripped from the headlines" but inspired by previous works of science fiction. The prologues to the stories give their inspiration (and add to the enjoyment). Then they're extrapolated into the future, sometimes dystopian, sometimes optimistic. The results are all entertaining and thought-provoking. "Printcrime" deals with the future of 3-D pri ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You can summarize his writing as "anything he does not like, or does not benefit from, becomes a villain". The author comes across as so aggressively & blindly opposed to ideas such as capitalism, equal opportunity (he's only interested in equality of results, apparently), and America, that it's clear no dialogue with him would be worthwhile. In fact, I bet everyone but his hippy, tree-hugging, bleeding-heart, vegan friends would place him clearly in the "ahole" category.

Oh, and I would be remi
Mike Smith
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of short stories. Similar to most other books of that type, some of them are good, others, well... In general I really like Cory Doctorow's work. Most of the stories really hit on all eight cylinders and I enjoyed them a lot. The unfortunate thing is that the last story in the book kind of fizzled out at the end. It had an interesting premise, but I would have put it as one of the earlier stories so as not to end on a bad note. Anyhow, if your a fan of techie sci-fi, it ...more
Dennis Gabel
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overclocked: More Stories of the Future Present. By Cory Doctorow

The tit!e only suggests the diverse range of the themes found in thes " stories". They are brillantly selected group that collectively build an unusual frame work to open and rearrange your thinking and assumptions.

I bought this book because I love the show Black Mirror, am fascinated by it, and these short stories fit right in, each one could be an episode.

Printcrime: ****

When Sysadmins Ruled The Earth: ***

Anda's Game: *****

I Robot: *****

I Rowboat: *****
This is one of the best short stories I have ever read. Humans have uploaded their consciousness and no longer inhabit the earth. A sentient rowboat takes human shells on daily excursions to keep them in shape, until one day an actual human being jumps in
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Subtract the dull I, Rowboat and perhaps Printcrime (or don't, it's short enough that it doesn't matter, but like every other story here hits the same themes deeper and better) and this is a thoroughly enjoyable collection
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this!

If you like the way Cory Doctorow thinks about the world we live in, you'll love this book. Doctorow takes on so many ideas - ideas that would be a whole story for some writers are just a little bit of extra for him.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of short stories and novellas loosely based off of spoofed titles of classic sci-fi novels, inspired by current events, and/or generally set in the present or near future with highly plausible (or already-existing) technology. There's the same preachy anti-copyright/information-wants-to-be-free message throughout, and some general anti-business Internet utopianism, but overall it was pretty good. I particularly liked the idea behind "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth", although I' ...more
Well I really wanted to reread the SysAdmins story good thing I did because apparently I completely misunderstood it the first time :). Anda's Game was interesting but I didn't like the ending. Narrators were awesome made the stories lot more engaging.

But 3 stars, because I really wanted something like the "internet will kill us" type story I guess.

Maybe one his other books are about the evils of the internet though I doubt it, sounds like Mr. Doctorow loves the web as much as he hates tradema
Ricky Kimsey
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stories With Real World Inspirations

All the stories in this collection of the author's short fiction have real world inspirations that are explained in the introductions. My personal favorite is a story centered around gold farming which is the practice of having others grind for in game currency in massively online role playing games.
neko cam
This collection is so-so. I would only strongly recommend 'When Sysadmins Rules the World', which is one hell of an original sort of post-apocalyptic narrative, and 'I, Rowboat', in which Doctorow drags Asimov's old precepts forward into modern sci-fi and makes them feel fresh and insightful again.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the best science fiction that I have read in a long while. Doctorow's
tales are strange and familiar at the same time. Seldom does his story end wherever you think it is leading, starting at the Burn but ending in the moon.
Andre Chiasson
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of short stories but I enjoyed this collection. Great writer with good imaginative stories. If you like short stories you'll love these. If you like great science fiction you'll enjoy them.
Scott Munjone
Some nice short stories.
Liked the 'I, Robot' version. sort of like Asimov + Orwell.
The last story 'Petard' seemed like it ended abruptly. There is a great monologue on the nature of business (the story might be worth it just for that).
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Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of the YA graphic novel In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema, and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture Of The Nerds and Makers. He is a Fellow for the Elec ...more

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