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Radicalized: Four Tales of Our Present Moment

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  4,644 ratings  ·  800 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, Radicalized is four urgent SF novellas of America's present and future within one book

Told through one of the most on-pulse genre voices of our generation, Radicalized is a timely novel comprised of four SF novellas connected by social, technological, and economic visions of today and what America could be in the near,
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Tor Books
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ash c
Four wry and not-so-subtle 'fuck you' tales about oppression, capitalism, racism, immigration, and other pressing social issues of the 21st century. Doctorow uses alternate realities and imagined near futures to remind us about the very real happenings that people are experiencing today. As someone privileged to not experience them too directly in real life, these stories feel juxtaposed in its farawayness and its nearness. It forces me to focus my attention and think about them while simultaneo ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's fun, quick read, politics are too the left, Doctorow-ly.

1. Poor people jail-breaking their appliances.
2. Someone tells a superhero alien that he isn't white or human, not entirely unlike "The Boys".
3. Healthcare terrorist group coalesces on a support group web site for relatives of cancer patients.
4. A plausible outcome for a wealthy survivalist compound post-disaster, but it has a little bird song of hope as well.

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I didn't like this.
It was heavy handed which I expected.
I liked Unauthorized Bread though it was somewhat slow.
Model Minority and Radicalized together ironically support white supremacy. Even Unauthorized Bread does as it encourages POC immigrants to quietly and peacefully circumvent a system that is using them for unpaid labor.
In Model Minority we have white guilt ahistorically explaining how siding with Black people against white supremacy causes their whiteness to be called into question.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, short-stories
The cops announced that LisasDad1990 had used Tor Browser extensively and had left behind no browser breadcrumbs, nor any records at AT&T's data centres. Inevitably, this set off a whole witch hunt over the “darkweb” and everyone wondering where the mystery man from the video had been “radicalized.”

I picked up Radicalized because it's on the shortlist for this year's Canada Reads program – an annual “battle of the books” run by our national broadcaster, meant to encourage Canadians to read a
RADICALIZED by Cory Doctorow is the second book shortlisted for Canada READS 2020 that I have read. Four short stories or novellas make up RADICALIZED.

UNAUTHORIZED BREAD, the first novella,
is the longest and also my favourite. It was easy to become engaged in the story of main characters Salima, Nadifa and Abdirahim.
We follow Salima through the years as she struggles against the "system" to move from the refugee camp and finally to an apartment in a luxury high rise tower in Boston. The apartm
Liz Barnsley
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Note: The book description for this on Goodreads only describes one Novella. This is actually 4 stories)

This was a brilliantly thought provoking yet hugely entertaining set of novella’s, each one self contained, taking on a meaningful social issue and using speculative fiction to hit home.
Some immersively clever writing with a hugely authentic set of characters, yes even the superhero, who you’ll definitely recognise, all thrown into various dangerous situations which they may or may not be abl
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
This isn't a book I would have chosen to read on my own had it not been shortlisted for Canada Reads this year. And unlike the other four books on the shortlist (three of which were already on my to-read list and the other one I became interested in when the longlist was announced), I wasn't really looking forward to reading this book.

Because I read this for Canada Reads, my overall feelings of it mostly center on how I see it fitting into this year's theme and just the program in general. Havin
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit, I just enjoy reading pretty much anything from Cory Doctorow.

This book is a collection of short stories that are looking at some of the bigger issues facing us now if you set aside global warming. The impact and influence of social media as an echo chamber, social collapse and the long but quick fall of our society into dystopia, hardware as a service and how this might leverage more revenue out of the lowest income population under the false flag of making it affordable, and a disc
Four short stories. Immigrants to America having to deal with being treated as third class citizens and manipulated via technological advances; racism and police brutality; the criminal failings of the American medical system and the insurance companies who decide who has a right to live and die despite ridiculous premiums, and finally, a survivalist more concerned about his standing as leader than actually helping people survive an Armageddon.

The stories themselves were well developed and kept
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
If there was ever a book to get you thinking, this is it! It's comprised of four novellas, three of which I really enjoyed. Doctorow has used these stories to showcase contemporary issues in their extremes and the result is an entertaining and thought-provoking read. ...more

Only one if the four stories (the first) was strong, and all four were so heavy-handed in their politics, and sometimes heavily didactic, as to detract. Not as good as his novels.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Radicalized ★★★★★
“They say violence never solves anything... that’s only true so long as you ignore all of human history.”
Boom! What would it take to get true universal health care in USA? Violence.

Masque of the Red Death ★★★★★
“Hell is other people.”
Or it could be Solarpunk heaven if you choose correctly. This was the story I was waiting for, the prequel to Walkaway!

In the early days of discontent and disruption the rich gather in small groups and arm themselves while the middle class and
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mar-20, 5000-2020
Radicalized by Cory Doctorow is a finalist in Canada Reads 2020.
I question this as it didn't feel like a Canada-focused read. It will be interesting to hear the debate surrounding the decision for this book.
Four stories relating to today's social issues and injustices lumped together into different universes - future, science-fiction and dystopic.
A quick, dark read!
Emily Cait
May 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea. Hated every moment of this reading experience, but wanted to finish it for a book club.
Alex Givant
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Liked 1st novel only.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the #CanadaReads folks picked their shortlist this one felt a bit off. While the other four books seemed to centre stories of marginalized voices, Radicalized felt on the surface like boilerplate sci-fi. Instead Doctrow gives us four short stories that speak the very social breakdown that is engulfing the world. The first follows a poor immigrant woman attempting to undermine the proprietary technology of appliance companies that help keep her and others downtrodden. The second is about a s ...more
Great little collection of 4 unique stories:

1) Unauthorized Bread - 4 Stars - All appliances are "smart" and are used to keep poor people poor. The lower class MC lives in an apartment building where the floors are clearly defined by class. She always has to wait for the automated elevator to pick her up because upper class tenants get picked up first, but just living in that building is considered a privilege. When her toaster stops working, she learns how to jailbreak the operating system, and
Mike Marsbergen
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was my first exposure to Cory Doctorow, despite knowing about him from Wattpad for many years now. I love a good novella, and these are all great novellas, so it seems I picked a good spot to jump in.

My favourites were by far the title story, "Radicalized," as well as the first story, "Unauthorized Bread." The former being all the more scary and real having read it just after the Christchurch mosque shootings, the latter being the longest and most thought-out of the bunch.

None of the storie
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radicalized is one of the Canada Reads 2020 contenders. It features four short stories set in a dystopian near future: Unauthorized Bread (4 stars), Model Minority (1 star), Radicalized (4 stars) and The Masque of the Red Death (3 stars).
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
So Radicalized is a hard story of loss and anger. This book is so far over the edge that it completely bypasses hope. This is my problem with it. I once heard a quote that "bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies." This is this story in nutshell. Darkness and its many iterations come when all we do is allow the offense to fester and grow, especially when it comes from the death of someone we care about. I don't deny the struggle that this story tries to capture but I ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Being poor is expensive. from the inside cover synopsis

These four novellas may well radicalize some of those comfortable sleepers with their heads in the sand and those who earnestly believe in slogans like 'progress'. Set in a not so distant future, each deals with an aspect of our subservience to the system, on which we rely on for our food, health care, and justice.The idea that some people are entitled to these things and that others need suffer for their lack is exposed as unacceptable. If
Wow. So this is a collection of 4 novellas. And they run the gamut from fantastic to fantastic and scary to very good. They are all pretty much near future, though Radicalized is essentially right now. They are all pretty much future's that I wouldn't want to be in. Or for that matter now's that I don't want to live in. A scary take on what technology can do. Worth reading. ...more
Jennifer Wright
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy speculative fiction, like the Handmaid's Tale, I truly can't recommend this book enough. They're deeply human stories about what could happen within the all too near future. And the last one is a goddamn PERFECT modernization of the Masque of the Red Death. ...more
Corneliu Dascalu
No one better than Cory Doctorow to put things in perspective in these troubled times.
Four creative short stories blending technology with the fight for social justice and the degrading society.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, well, well, ..but not really well!

Three stars ....barely!

This was four separate stories, each a science fiction or dystopian account.

Each started out somewhat promising, engaging. Maybe I expected more. Maybe they were too short to provide more, or even to provide enough.
For the most part I felt that each of them ended without providing an ending. Maybe that was the point. You are supposed to let your imagination fill in the ending! I dunno!

The writing was good, nicely descriptive. Some na
Radicalized is a short story collection from author Cory Doctrow. All four fall within the realm of sci-fi and carry the theme: “tales for our present moment”.

Unauthorized Bread – The first story in the collection follows a young woman, Salima, recently released from an immigration holding facility. She makes her way to Boston, eager to start her new life. Taking an apartment in a building that houses both wealthy and lower class citizens, her unit is partially subsidized by companies providing
Villain E
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, fiction
Four short stories which are ostensibly speculative fiction, but I would call them satire. Although satire sometimes implies humor. This is angry satire.

In Unauthorized Bread, a refugee woman living in subsidized housing has to hack her home appliances because they only allow authorized products but the companies which run the software go under. At first it's liberating, but when new companies acquire the licenses, there's a possibility that she and her community could be evicted.

In Model Minori
May 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2018-19-season
Four short stories, four stories that could have been good, four stories so polluted by racist politics and naked greed that one feels dirty after reading them.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-sf-fantasy
The final story doesn't reach the heights of the previous ones, but this complaint is akin to finding a shiny emerald at the end of a row of beautifully cut diamonds. In fact, it's the first two stories that power this collection to five stars...two of the finest pieces of speculative fictions that I've ever read. They are also some of the most frightening & depressing pieces that I've ever encountered, worthy of Margaret Atwood at the height of her powers. A gentle, straightforward, and damning ...more
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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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