Sunday, February 04, 2007


My second book of the year was Overclocked by Cory Doctorow, a collection of six short stories. Actually, only the first story, "Printcrime" is really short - the rest are all around the 50 to 60 page range, with the last one being close to 80 pages. I've been a fan of Doctorow's work ever since I read "Craphound" in Science Fiction Age (I believe) and that was maybe 9 years ago now. He does a good job at marrying cool ideas to solid character work.

"Anda's Game" was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2005 by Michael Chabon and for good reason. It deals with the economics of players doing all the grunt work in online games and then selling the acquired skills to people who can afford to bypass gaining that experience.

"I, Robot" and "I, Row-Boat" both deal with different kinds of consciousness for robots, deviating from the "3 Laws of Robotics" as laid out in many novels and stories by Issac Asimov. "I, Row-Boat" also features a sentient coral reef amongst its characters.

"After the Siege" deals with the horrors of war and how technology is and isn't used in important ways in those wars. It's a very powerful, affecting story.

I think Doctorow is one of the leading writers in SF today and this collection just underscores that point for me. I'm looking forward to more from him.

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