Little Brother and Blue

First of all, if you get a chance, please read my post yesterday. I put a lot of heart into that one.

Secondly, since it is Tuesday, my latest “Sippy Cup Book Review” is up at beagooddad.com. This week’s book is Blue’s Sniffly Day.

I’m pretty excited because I won a book in a contest yesterday at Chris’s blog. The book is Charles Gramlich’s Swords of Talera. Check it out.

Now on to today’s post. Yesterday, Cory Doctorow released his latest novel via Creative Commons. That means it is absolutely free to download and read. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this novel since Neil Gaiman first wrote this on his blog about the book:

I’d recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I’ve read
this year, and I’d want to get it into the hands of as many smart 13 year olds, male and female, as I can.

Because I think it’ll change lives. Because some kids, maybe
just a few, won’t be the same after they’ve read it. Maybe they’ll
change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it’ll just be the
first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe
they’ll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they’ll
want to open their computer and see what’s in there. I don’t know.
It made me want to be 13 again right now and reading it for the
first time, and then go out and make the world better or stranger
or odder. It’s a wonderful, important book, in a way that renders
its flaws pretty much meaningless.

As authors recommending books of other authors, this one was pretty effective on me. I’m pretty sure I’d have checked this book out anyhow. 1984 is probably the work of fiction that has had the most influence on me and the way I view the world. As you may gather from the title, Little Brother, Doctorow’s book is 1984 for the Young Adult crowd.

In the intro to the book, Cory Doctorow has some explanation on why he released the book for free(at the same time it is also being sold in print).

For me for pretty much every writer the
big problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity (thanks to Tim O’Reilly for this great
aphorism). Of all the people who failed to buy this book today,
the majority did so because they never heard of it, not because
someone gave them a free copy. Mega-hit bestsellers in science
fiction sell half a million copies in a world where 175,000
attend the San Diego Comic Con alone, you’ve got to figure that
most of the people who “like science fiction” (and related geeky
stuff like comics, games, Linux, and so on) just don’t really buy
books. I’m more interested in getting more of that wider audience
into the tent than making sure that everyone who’s in the tent
bought a ticket to be there.

He also describes how he wrote the book in only eight weeks, and the feeling of the book writing itself:

I wrote Little Brother in a white-hot
fury between May 7, 2007 and July 2, 2007: exactly eight weeks from the day I thought it up
to the day I finished it (Alice, to whom this book is dedicated, had
to put up with me clacking out the final chapter at 5AM in our
hotel in Rome, where we were celebrating our anniversary). I’d
always dreamed of having a book just materialize, fully formed,
and come pouring out of my fingertips, no sweat and fuss but
it wasn’t nearly as much fun as I’d thought it would be. There were
days when I wrote 10,000 words, hunching over my keyboard in
airports, on subways, in taxis anywhere
I could type. The book was trying to get out of my head, no matter what, and I missed so
much sleep and so many meals that friends started to ask if I was
unwell.

So yeah, the download is worth it for the introduction alone. I’m fifteen or so pages in right now and am enjoying it already. If I continue to enjoy it, I will certainly buy a copy. It’s the right thing to do. To get the book in a variety of formats head on over to Craphound, Cory Doctorow’s website. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.

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6 thoughts on “Little Brother and Blue

  1. Wow, great post! I am definitely off to check out the book now. I really like Doctorow’s sentiments on why he made the book available free – the man is spot on! And of course, the Gaiman referral only makes it more appealing. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. 1984 has been (and still is) an important book for me, too. I also liked Animal Farm by Orwell. But I’m sure you have already read that one.
    As for Doctorow’s book: I’m into reading it online, if that is possible!
    Thank you for the tip!

  3. Thanks for this. I got the .pdf and will print it out at school, where my fees should cover the paper.

    Excellent posts lately. What a thrill!

    Brian

  4. Absolute Vanilla – thanks! Do check out the book. It’s pretty good so far.

    Diane – You’re welcome

    SzélsőFa – I actually haven’t read Animal Farm yet. I need to.

    tysdaddy – thanks!

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