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April 17, 2008

Little Brother
Posted by Patrick at 09:02 AM * 189 comments

In twelve days, Tor will release one of the books that, should I happen to be run down by a beer truck next Tuesday, I’d most like to be remembered for having helped into print: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.

“A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion—as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane.” —Scott Westerfeld
Here’s some cover copy I wrote about it:
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works—and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Little Brother is a whole bunch of things I love. It’s science fiction about how the world works. It’s unabashedly didactic about big issues like freedom and authority, and about technical issues like what is and isn’t real security. (Underlining that last: an afterword by Bruce Schneier.)
“Read this book. You’ll learn a great deal about computer security, surveillance and how to counter it, and the risk of trading off freedom for ‘security.’ And you’ll have fun doing it.” —Tim O’Reilly
But it’s also smart about the business of being a kid, in ways that speak to younger and older readers alike. Marcus has right and truth on his side, and he’s smarter than many of his antagonists, but that doesn’t save him from screwing up and being a source of pain to others. The world is complicated, and Little Brother is a story of growing up into the world.
“The teenage voice is pitch-perfect. I couldn’t put it down, and I loved it.” —Jo Walton

“Cory’s captured a particular element of adolescence very well—that sense of being a grownup (or maybe even understanding things better than a grownup would) without having the baggage of accumulated years of failure to tell you exactly how it is that things could go horribly wrong.” —Elizabeth Bear

“A tale of struggle familiar to any teenager, about those moments when you choose what your life is going to mean.” —Steven Gould

The hardcover of Little Brother releases on Tuesday, April 29. But right now, stacked up in my office, I have a few dozen of what we call ARCs— advance reading copies, handsome trade paperbacks printed specifically to stir up interest prior to a book’s official publication date. I’d like each of these to find a home. If you want one of them, and are willing to promise to read it immediately and talk about it to your friends—online, on your blog, in a forum somewhere, in somebody’s comment section, or just in plain old in-person conversation—I’ll have one sent to you right away. You don’t have to promise to like it or praise it, just talk about it. Requests, including your ship-to address, should be emailed to littlebrother.offer@gmail.com. I’ll update this post when the stack of ARCs is used up.
“A wonderful, important 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 thirteen-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 thirteen again right now, and reading it for the first time.” —Neil Gaiman
Act now, act without thinking! Email me at littlebrother.offer@gmail.com today.

UPDATE: All 83 ARCs are now spoken for—by the time I got to the office, there were twice as many requests. Copies will go to the first 83 people who emailed; apologies to the rest. (If you emailed too late, you’ll get a response saying so. Give us a few hours to sort it.) The actual book does go on sale a week from this coming Tuesday…

Comments on Little Brother:
#1 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:34 AM:

Done! I've been waiting for this release and so has Puppy-the-13-year-old, ever since we read Neil Gaiman's blurb about it on his blog.

I think this is right up Puppy's alley, and everything he reads, the rest of his little half-geek, half-punk squad of eighth graders read next.

I did it from work, though, so it's the email from the law firm. :)

#2 ::: David Manheim ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:46 AM:

Just the list of people recommending it would make me buy a copy. It sounds like the next Ender's Game - a book which I'll be able to tell people who don't read sci-fi that it is worth reading.

All I need now is a copy...

#3 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:51 AM:

That's an offer I can't refuse. So I won't. Email from my gmail account sent, Patrick! :)

#4 ::: Today Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:51 AM:

Oooh, this is on my list of books I want but can't afford right now. Here's hoping I sent an email fast enough! (And that you're willing to ship them as far as Canada)

#5 ::: KP ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:56 AM:

Wendy: Welcome to my world. I live in Japan! :)

Like anyone else, I just thought it worth a try. *crosses fingers*

#6 ::: Dora ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:59 AM:

I wrote so fast I managed to misspell "Israel."

#7 ::: Kerry ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Email sent. Will notification be sent by return email if our request got in on time or not?

This sounds like an awesome book *crosses fingers*

#8 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Email sent, but as I said in the email, it'd be handy if such offers made note (if in existence) of a US-only assumption, to avoid confusion.

Upon reaching preview, it seems others shared my dilemma!

#9 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:05 AM:

Yeah, me too! I mistyped my address, as well. *sheepish grin*Sorry. I sent a correction, Patrick sir.

Also: KP, Can I ask where in Japan do you live? I'm down in Yamaguchi. Anywhere nearby?

#10 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Patrick sent me a copy a couple of months ago*. My life is extremely busy, so when I say that I could barely put it down, that's saying more than it did, say, in college. I have kids, a job, a life.

I could barely put it down.

It's a good YA book, which is to say that the plot keeps moving right along. I read it to find out what happens next. But it's also a good textbook, in that it explains the principles of things like RFID and encryption in clear terms, with lots of avenues for followup† if the reader gets interested.

I suspect that a measurable proportion of the geeks and techies of the next generation will cite it as an inspiration or an influence on their lives.

It's also going to be Trouble with a capital Mwahahahaha in some circles. It's not very...respectful of authority figures.

-----

* obNeener

† Googleable terms in the text and a very meaty appendix

#11 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:08 AM:

I really, really, really liked it. But I don't know if teenagers will like it. I hope they will. I hope lots and lots of them will, and it gets the attention it should in that age group of readers. I've got my ARC, and loaned it out to a friend who's deep into free software and civil liberties, and other great stuff like that. When I get it back, I'll see if I can send it out to the teenagers I know.

Patrick, have you had any feedback from teen readers?

#12 ::: Anna the Piper ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:17 AM:

Oh, very cool. Email sent. I just finally read my first Cory Doctorow, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, and liked it quite a bit! I'll look forward to this being my second read of his.

#13 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:18 AM:

#11 re teenagers:

Puppy is only 13 but way advanced in reader things and thinky things (girl things, mood swings, etc., are right on schedule, though). I would put his reader tastes around what you would expect for a 15-17 year old boy. And obviously I don't KNOW if he's going to like the book until he's read it and likes it or not, but just reading the advanced word of mouth online has him frothing over it. In fact, just last week he said, "Hey! When's that Cory Doctorow book out again? Soon???"

#14 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:22 AM:

[delurk]

I'd be interested in an ARC of this, Patrick, were you inclined.

email has been sent.

[/relurk]

#15 ::: Leighton ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:31 AM:

I can't refuse, either. Email sent! And thank you!

#16 ::: Matt Runquist ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:32 AM:

This is why I hit the RSS feeder bar like a crack-addicted lab rat. Or, you know, a MySpace teen. Or an Internet addict (No! Too close!). Fingers crossed.

#17 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:34 AM:

Crap, I knew I forgot something. Thanks from me as well; this is awesome of you.

#18 ::: KP ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:34 AM:

Jim: I'm in Tokyo. A little far from Yamaguchi, I'm afraid.

#19 ::: Yatima ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:36 AM:

Fie upon your free copies! I shall pant like the hart to hand over cash for one, and confine my pre-sales buzz-generating activities to frequent cries of "ZOMG WHEN WILL CORY'S LITTLE BROTHER BE OUT, I CAN'T WAIT." Like, on the bus and stuff.

#20 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:36 AM:

Curses! I cannot meet the conditions. Will just have to wait for the paperback to reach the Antipodes :(

#21 ::: Suzanne M ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:38 AM:

What a lovely idea. Thank you, Patrick. Email sent. Back to lurking.

#22 ::: skzb ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:40 AM:

*sniff* Didn't use my quote. *sniff*

But, yeah, one hell of a fine book. Really top-notch stuff. This one is going to make a splash. It ought to.

#23 ::: Shay ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:40 AM:

*joins the general delurking to request a copy as well*

Sounds like an awesome book. I'll definitely let my LJ flist know all about it.

#24 ::: wintermute ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:46 AM:

Did I make it? Was I in time?

*fingers crossed*

#25 ::: Christian Severin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:47 AM:

Hooooh boy... sounds like I was pretty late in refreshing my browser, huh? So many "me too!"s...

So how many is "a few dozen", Mr. Nielsen Hayden?

#26 ::: novalis ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:50 AM:

Josh, thanks for lending it to me. I've already convinced one of my co-workers to buy a copy for a kid they know. It really made me miss being more deeply involved in the copyfight. As abi said, the plot rolls right along. But what nobody else has mentioned (perhaps because my reaction was idiosyncratic), was how *depressing* the book was. Because it's very much about the real world, and there is still so much work to be done.

#27 ::: Francis D ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:51 AM:

Request sent. I hope I'm in time...

#28 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:04 AM:

Scraps copyedited Little Brother, and I picked up a page at random one morning, and had to read the entire book (I was late to work that day, and unrepentant). I think it's excellent, and will pick up copies for two of my nieces and nephews.

#29 ::: Antony B ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:04 AM:

I've sent my request in. Though I do feel a little guilty for delurking at the same time a free book is on offer :-), even if it is a book I've been looking forward to.

#30 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:09 AM:

Request sent. I'm excited to tell my 12th and 8th graders about this book. I also had to send two emails, because I forgot my address the first time. Doh.

#31 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:12 AM:

I'll just wait another couple of weeks and buy the thing in hard cover. And I suspect I will talk about it.

Totally non SF, I heard Nathan Englander speak last night about his new-in-trade-paperback The Ministry of Special Cases. It's about a family who lost a son to Argentina's Dirty War. I'm thinking the two might make a good contrast to read back-to-back.

#32 ::: Heather ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:15 AM:

Oh - mail sent. Fingers crossed.... And toes...

#33 ::: Krinn DNZ ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:18 AM:

> Kouredios

I did the same thing, actually. Shows the frantic eagerness in the process.

#34 ::: Ame ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:20 AM:

*delurks shyly*

Mention free books, watch all the lurkers come out of the woodwork...

#35 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:24 AM:

Email sent. Not only does the book sound interesting, the implicit promise in having sent the request means I can avoid the question of just what that's currently in my to-be-read pile to start next for a little while longer.

#36 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:26 AM:

Request sent. It looks awesome and a couple of book worms I work with are already lining up to read my copy.

#37 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:28 AM:

I was lucky enough to snag an advance copy of this book at OmegaCon. I concur entirely with Patrick. It's a superb YA book. It's also the kind of book that right wing nutcases are going to want to ban because it challenges the stupidity of authority. This is a book young people should read. I say this as someone who read banned* books in my own youth.

* Of the kind that meant a term in prison, that is. Jamaica's Importation of Forbidden Publications Act was and is pretty draconian.

#38 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:31 AM:

I read Little Brother last year.

Because you won't be able to put it down, I recommend one thing before you start it: Work out when and where you'll be finishing the book, based on your average reading time, locations, etc.

If that time and place is at night or alone , please wait few hours, because Little Brother is a slowly self-assembling BLIT. You may feel fine 5 minutes after finishing, and then the encapsulated memes join up and sprout.

Some books should only be finished in direct sunlight. Away from security cameras.

The only comforting thing about Little Brother is that Little Brother exists to make you think about it. The security-fear mindset Cory captures, and the technologies he details--they're already evenly distributed, they're just not all here yet.

#39 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:32 AM:

As I just now appended to the main post: All 83 ARCs are now spoken for--by the time I got to the office, there were twice as many requests. Copies will go to the first 83 people who emailed; apologies to the rest. (If you emailed too late, you’ll get a response saying so. Give us a few hours to sort it.) The actual book does go on sale a week from this coming Tuesday...

#40 ::: Ryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:33 AM:

I read an early version of this book over a year ago (I believe, I got it from Cory at his going away party in London) and I've been waiting for the proper publication ever since. Even though what I read was an early version I was really floored by it. I hope this books gets a lot of attention, it completely deserves it. I'm also glad Cory got back to the UK before it got published, this book is all kinds of trouble, in a really good way.

Come to think of it, is there any kind of blog out there specific to the book (like publishing news / potential kerfuffle about it)?

#41 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:35 AM:

Well, I sent my email just before Patrick's update saying all the ARC's were used up. So I'm pretty sure I'm out.

I'll have to buy it on the 29th. Those of you who DID get in in time, please don't spoiler it. I know I'm preaching to the converted, but I can't help it!

#42 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:36 AM:

(I should add that if you're a reviewer or other media person with an interest in the book, we do have actual hardcovers in-house. Inquiries should go to super-publicist Dot Lin, dot.lin@tor.com.)

#43 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Oh, and Little Brother, with a character called "w1n5t0n"? His last name wouldn't be Smith, would it?

#44 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:40 AM:

Patrick @39:

The actual book does go on sale a week from this coming Tuesday...

For clarity, where in the world does it do this? Is this a global simultaneous release*, or will it come to other parts of the world at other times?

#45 ::: Dru ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:43 AM:

dang, that's what I get for not answering at home, and getting into work before subbing :). This pegs all my 'pick this up' triggers, too. Well, this security geek will have to wait til next week.

#46 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:44 AM:

I hope you sent several galleys to Locus, since the July issue will feature reviews of YA fiction.

#47 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:45 AM:

* spurious asterisk brought to you by the Society for Encouraging You To Invent Your Own Footnotes

#48 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:46 AM:

One of my friends got an ARC of Little Brother at PLA in MSP a few weeks ago. She's been taunting with it ever since.

#49 ::: John Hawkes-Reed ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:50 AM:

Blast. Too late.

Still, I was going to buy it anyway, so It's All Good.

I trust that it'll have the same effect on several larval-stage hackers that going to 'Hacking at the end of the universe' (1993? Something like that) did on me.

#50 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:51 AM:

One of my friends got an ARC of Little Brother at PLA in MSP

OMG!

#51 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:52 AM:

abi @ 47... spurious asterisk

Do this à tes risques et perils.

#52 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:55 AM:

Alex @50:

FTW: WTF?

ROFLMAO

#53 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:57 AM:

Ryan 40: I'm also glad Cory got back to the UK before it got published, this book is all kinds of trouble, in a really good way.

We're living in a country where a GURPS worldbook was seized in a Secret Service raid because they decided it was a manual for computer crime—even though the equipment used in the book does not exist.

And that was in 1990, before utter cowardice strangled our freedoms. Gods forbid any such thing should happen to Tor, or to Cory.

#54 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:00 PM:

Sweet! The book's coming out just in time for me to graduate in May and have free time to read it!



Doctorow has just been getting better and better. I'm really interested in seeing how parenthood influences his work. Spoiler: I really liked "When Sysadmins Ruled The Earth", but a few friends of mine, parents of young children, wondered whether he could now write that plot as ruthlessly.

I was listening to Everclear as I came across this entry, and heard the lyrics from "Father of Mine":

Now I'm a grown man / With a child of my own / And I swear I'm not going to let her know / All the pain I have known

which is cried out in hope and anguish. It's a vow that we're not going to pass our screwups on to the next generation. How many stories end on that hopeful note, the protagonist hoping that the protagonist's kid will have a better life, with less injustice and pain?



"Little Brother" has a kid's POV. It sounds like "Little Brother" is about young people wresting justice and liberty from an irresponsible establishment of grownups. They have agency. But by writing it, Doctorow enriches and passes on our heritage of freedom. Like a good parent.

Here I am applauding the story before I've even read it. It seems I can't wait till mid-May after all...

#55 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:08 PM:

Sumana #54: Yeah, in my really dark moments, I visualize conversations with my grandkids along the lines of the starting converation the main character has with his daughter in In the Presence of Mine Enemies.

#56 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:09 PM:

For anyone wondering how well it works as an actual YA novel, my wife had our daughter read it (she was just a few days shy of thirteen when she finished it), and her thoughts are posted online.

As for me, I think it's a damned fine novel for anyone.

#57 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:14 PM:

I don't speak to enough people, online or off, to be a good candidate for spreading the word anyway. (Well, except here and at BoingBoing, and I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine why those two do not count.) But I will definitely buy it when it comes out.

The other day I re-read "0wnz0red" while trying desperately to fight off a bad cold in time to run an important experiment. It was a perfect time to read it. Also, I was well enough the next morning to run the important experiment. Fiction by Cory Doctorow: it cures what ails ya.

I also wonder if this one will help fix my tendency to read the dystopian novel that will terrify me most at any given time. I read The Handmaid's Tale just before the 2004 election, and was so rattled that I started making serious plans for how to get to Canada if necessary. Last week I finished reading Parable of the Sower. Climate change, extreme drought, runaway inflation, unchecked corporations....now I feel an urgent need to learn to shoot, in case I have to fight my way to Canada on foot.

I think Little Brother might be a touch more optimistic.

#58 ::: Ryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:16 PM:

Xopher @53:

LB (the version I read) is a lot more directly critical of the US (and the DHS) than the UK. Not that this negates your point in any way.

#59 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:23 PM:

Sigh. I was distracted, and didn't read to the end of the post, when there were only 2 replies.

I'll have to buy it.

#60 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Rats. Well, ignore my email then. (I'm always the last one to hit the enter key....)

:(

#61 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:38 PM:

Is it too soon to ask our libraries to order this?

Would giving them the ISBN be enough?

#62 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:44 PM:

I blink...and the ARCs are gone...

#63 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:48 PM:

Ryan 58: I live in the US. I was agreeing with your point at 40, that it's a good thing he went back to the UK before the book hit.

Right now the US isn't exactly a paragon of freedom and justice. We're living under the Bushista bootheel here, remember!

#64 ::: Chris S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:55 PM:

Bookstore brag: My rep sent me an ARC last month. Huzzah! I said, and immediately settled in for a good read. Of course, I left the d*mn thing in a cab that night - before I got to finish it. Hubris never pays.



PS: If you're in the Greater Toronto Area on May 1st, Cory will be launching the book at the Merril Collection (239 College), at 7pm.

#65 ::: Ryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Xopher 63: I live in the UK :-) I moved from the US about 3 years ago.

And yeah, I've been watching things change over there with a strange creeping combination of what-is-that-thing-turning-into fear, and oh-thank-god-I-made-it-out-the-airlock-in-time relief.

#66 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 12:58 PM:

cgeye @ #61, my local library already shows it as on order, so certainly not too early.

(PNH was handing out ARCs like candy at Boskone, so here's Chad's review.)

#67 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:13 PM:

Abi, #44: Oops, sorry, you're right to ask. April 29 is the release date in our territory: the US and Canada, and (nonexclusively) English-language booksellers in non-English-speaking countries.

In the UK and Commonwealth (not including Canada), the book is being published by HarperCollins in November.

#68 ::: Trey ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:19 PM:

Well, drat. I'll just wait two weeks then.

#69 ::: Emily H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:20 PM:

Color me a deeply saturated hue of 'excited.'

As a librarian who lives in 200 square feet, I get 99% of my books from the library. "Little Brother" (oh, huh, it took me this long to get the joke in the title?) is in that other 1%.

#70 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:21 PM:

The offer was bitterly unfair to those of us in the Western states.

#71 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:21 PM:

Chris S... I left the d*mn thing in a cab that night - before I got to finish it. Hubris never pays.

"Hey, buddy!"

"What about your cab fare?"

"What about it?"

"Who's going to pay for it, you costumed weirdo?"

"Not I. I am Hubris! And Hubris never pays! Bwhahahahah!!!"

#72 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:24 PM:

*blink*

I had no idea having an ARC of this book was so incredibly enviable. I'll review it once novalis gets me my copy back.

The most recent YA read I've had that compared was Neal Shusterman's Unwind. In terms of plotting, Doctorow is better, but in terms of grabbing the reader by the throat and forcing an emotional response to a complicated problem, Shusterman wins hands down. Doctorow might benefit from a bit more tight emotionally pushy scenes.

#73 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:28 PM:

Another amazing thing about the book is that it manages to both contain heart-wrenching, infuriating descriptions of humiliating interrogation, and joyful depictions of youth and nerd culture (like live-action role-playing, and rock concerts). You'd think that the former would drag down the latter, but it somehow doesn't.

#74 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Apparently the address is now using a form autoresponder, too. I sent a brief response to the "we're sorry but we're out of copies" message, indicating that i'd understood that to be a risk, and thanking you for giving away copies at all ... only to get the same message back. :)

It's a reasonable thing to do, but I still find it amusing whenever I find myself (inadvertantly) trying to talk to a machine.

Anyhow ... thank you for offering the ARCs. :)

#75 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:33 PM:

(My #67 notwithstanding, we had no problem sending copies of our ARC to overseas folks who were among the first eighty-something to ask.)

#76 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:58 PM:

If I didn't get a "sorry" email, does that mean I'm in???

(If so, SQUEE! AND I'll probably end up buying a hardcover, too, anyway, because I don't let Puppy take ARC's to his middle school. Sometimes they come back a bit, erm, imperfect.)

#77 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 01:59 PM:

This sounds like the kind of book one should, for safety's sake, buy with cash in a town you select for a once in a lifetime visit. Pay cash for all expenses related to travel to the purchase, making sure the total outlay is not large enough to be a noticeable statistical blip on your financial Permanent Record. Oh, and don't violate any traffic laws during the trip: if you're pulled over for any reason, cancel the trip and select a new city for the purchase.

Then eat the book after you've finished reading and memorizing it, of course....

#78 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 02:03 PM:

I'm trying to think of nieces and nephew who might benefit from some subversion. (InDoctorownation?)

Has there been any talk of adaptation to movies / TV shows / shadow puppets?

#79 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 02:09 PM:

We'll be ordering a copy, but anyone who'd care to loan me a copy while I'm in the Bay Area next week would be welcome--indeed, would be vehemently encouraged--to do so.

#80 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 02:14 PM:

Too late!!!! That's what I get for being good and going to see my Mum and returning to working as soon as I got back instead of checking Making Light - all gone!

It's not -buying- it I mind (I'm happy to support good authors), it's waiting until November for it to come out over here....

Any lucky Brits among the 83 willing to lend it around???

#81 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Curious ... how much spam has littlebrother.offer@gmail.com received in the short time it's been online?

#82 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 02:41 PM:

cgeye #61 -- I just checked the Minuteman network in MA, and there's one copy already in circulation (with three holds on it), and four more on order. I'd say it's definitely not too early (and if you're in Eastern MA, it's time to put a hold on one of those copies).

#83 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 03:22 PM:

I'm not reserving my public library copy until I finish my project, so others can get a shot at it. Ordered it, though, at my college library today.

#84 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 03:22 PM:

Made a *request* for it, though....

#85 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 05:20 PM:

I read it in ARC a month or so ago. It is a really terrific book. I read it in something close to a single sitting.

#86 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 05:24 PM:

I read it last year as well, having gotten a copy from Cory at Viable Paradise. I have to agree with the others that have said that they couldn't put it down.

At the time that I read it, I had no idea that it was destined to be labeled a YA book, and I still think that's a phenomenally important book for the 21st century. My review is on my blog here.

Xopher @ #63: I live in the US. I was agreeing with your point at 40, that it's a good thing he went back to the UK before the book hit.

Right now the US isn't exactly a paragon of freedom and justice. We're living under the Bushista bootheel here, remember!

That's funny, I have a short story about that coming up the pipeline. It should be read by Monday or Tuesday on my blog.

#87 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 05:42 PM:

It's a Tor Teen title, but we're making every effort to get it in front of adult readers as well.

There are lots of good reasons to publish it as, at least nominally, a YA novel. Among other things, it means we have a shot at getting the support of platoons of influential librarians and educators, the overwhelming majority of whom are deeply anti-censorship and totally pissed off.

Really, YA is where a lot of the best SF and fantasy, and some of the most intense engagement between authors and readers, is going on. John Scalzi says that Scott Westerfeld is the most important SF author in the world that many of you have never heard of. He's got a point.

The novel Cory is currently working on--not the delivered-but-unedited adult novel Themepunks, but a newer one in progress--is also YA. I think Cory has a true gift for that voice and that POV and I hope he keeps doing it.

#88 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 05:56 PM:

PNH @ #87: Really, YA is where a lot of the best SF and fantasy, and some of the most intense engagement between authors and readers, is going on.

Absolutely, and I think it's been that way for years: C.S. Lewis, P. Pullman, J. Rowling, G. Nix, S. Cooper, S. Gould, etc., etc.

I always feel sort of like I'm the creepy old guy when I go trolling looking for new titles in the YA section though.

I forgot to mention that I've already pre-ordered it, so I guess that the ARC doesn't matter too much to me. Still, as one of the first people to post of review of it (after Neil Gaiman's awesomeness, of course), it would have been cool to get one so that I could start pimping it to all of my friends even sooner.

#89 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Well, thanks, but I already have one, and I read it and liked it.

I'M BRAGGING. WOO HOO!

#90 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 07:12 PM:

Sigh; I never had even a vague chance to hope. Oh well; I had that Amazon gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket anyway; it's on preorder now.

You know, my workplace has a fairly large geek percentage and we frequently invite authors in to give a talk about their book and do a book signing. I wonder who the HR person is that's in charge of that; I should find out...

Of course, it'd require Mr. Doctorow to visit NYC and not give his author talk at the office over on that other coast.

#91 ::: sherrold ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 07:36 PM:

Just checked the library catalog: Although the full record isn't even there yet (in fact, all it says is, "Little Brother. Tor Teen 2008."), there are already 11 holds. Nice work, PNH!

#92 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 07:37 PM:

PNH @ #67: In the UK and Commonwealth (not including Canada), the book is being published by HarperCollins in November.

Sheesh. And they wonder why Australians get books from Amazon. Quicker and cheaper. With 17 year old twins, I'm going to have to fork out for 2 copies. By the sound of it, sharing will be out of the question.

#93 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:19 PM:

Daniel Martin, #90:

"You know, my workplace has a fairly large geek percentage and we frequently invite authors in to give a talk about their book and do a book signing. I wonder who the HR person is that's in charge of that; I should find out..."Of course, it'd require Mr. Doctorow to visit NYC and not give his author talk at the office over on that other coast."
I think you should find out who's in charge of author talks at Google NY. Exercising my astonishing powers of Publishing Precognition, I predict that what he or she will tell you is that Cory Doctorow is scheduled to give a talk at Google NY at 3 PM on May 28. Amazing, isn't it?

#94 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 09:28 PM:

With all due respect to my colleagues in the British publishing industry, the delay in British/Commonwealth publication is entirely their own damn fault. Until the pre-publication buzz on this book started cresting earlier this year, largely through our efforts and Cory's, all we and Cory's agent could get out of London publishers was a lot of fretting about Creative Commons and his free e-editions and American- authors-don't-do-well-for-us and generally oh dear. Months later, with US publication imminent, a couple of UK publishers finally got interested enough to make offers. All this while Cory is living in London, where he could have been exercising his formidable publicity skills on behalf of a UK edition for months now, if a London publisher had had the sense to buy the book a year ago.

That said, none of the above should be taken as criticism of the HarperCollins editor who did show the wit to buy the book. But she obviously can't get it into the schedule next week. I'm impressed that they're publishing as soon as this coming fall.

#95 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 10:34 PM:

Well, I'm only on Chapter 4 (having just acquired a copy this afternoon), but I already feel safe in saying this book is going to be the target of many Parental Units and various Patriotic Endeavors, and that many attempts will be made to force school boards to slag it out of school libraries on account of it being insufficiently cognizant of the fact that we must all never forget -- merely for the time being, mind you -- that freedom is just another word for shut the f*ck up and stand over there and do what you're told like a good American.

#96 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:31 PM:

me@77 if you're pulled over for any reason, cancel the trip and select a new city for the purchase.

There are a bunch of logic holes in my cunning plan to obtain a copy of The Book in an acceptably secure and detection-wary fashion (the first of which is openly discussing it on a web site that is indexed by Google, of course). Being pulled over by a LEO after the purchase, with The Book in the vehicle is another: all it would take is "reasonable suspicion" and a roadside search, and it's all over.

There may be a solution using technology from the geocaching hobby community. Distributed risk. Still thinking about that one....

#97 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Earl @ 96

Public transit, ticket bought with cash from vending machine, to a destination further away than the one you actually want (if said ticket requires stating a destination). Or try an all-day unlimited ticket or a multi-ride ticket, but use cash for those, also. Tokens might work, if the system uses them.

#98 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:54 PM:

Kate #66, my library shows four copies on order and two requests, so I'm now the third.

#99 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:57 PM:

It may be a sinister government plot to catch wrong-thinking, free-media nogoodniks, but according to this page, you will be able to download it for free, in true Doctorow style...though the link is asking for a password at the moment. Funny, there's no mention on craphound, though.

#100 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2008, 11:59 PM:

Daniel @90, could you check if your workplace has on tap a freelance copyeditor who can use a few hours to run over the online &/or otherwise published documents? On a very quick skim of the page you linked, this leapt out: "Take a peak at the extensive list of publications …"

There is an office in Sydney quite close to my current work, but now I've seen it, my heart sighs for the NYC branch. Do they employ crabby old crones?

#101 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:05 AM:

#88: I once saw The Warrior's Apprentice in the YA section of my local library. I did a bit of a double-take - sure, several of the main characters are teenagers, but it's pretty hard-hitting emotionally, IMO. (And it might be even more so if you come at it without having previously read Shards of Honor and, therefore, without knowing what the characters are going to find when they look into the past.)

#102 ::: Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 04:36 AM:

Jim@99: LB will indeed go live as a free download in early May, at craphound.com/littlebrother . I'm in Toronto to see the family for Passover and introduce the little baby around, so it's very much a +/- a few days situation.

#103 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 05:20 AM:

Cory Doctorow @102

Whee! So I can read it in electronic copy in May and then buy the book in November and read it again and lend it around - great!

#104 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 06:09 AM:

102 @ Cory, yeah, I can see how that might be more important. Enjoy the family! And thanks for your generosity with your books, by the way.

#105 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 08:22 AM:

Emma #92:

In fairness, it sometimes cuts the other way as well. You can likely go to your local bookseller to get Joe Abercrombie's third novel, but that's not possible the US (unless said bookseller has an import section), and won't be for months. And it was only in the late '90s that Pratchett novels were released here at the same time they made it to the Commonwealth.

#106 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 10:11 AM:

Wheeeeeeeeee! Got my copy in this morning! There is something to be said for living three hours from NYC. I am already devouring it. Work? what work?

Thanks PNH!

#107 ::: Casey ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:02 AM:

I'm excited to get my copy.

#108 ::: sherrold ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:17 AM:

Re #101

More than 15 years ago, I saw Stranger in a Strange Land marked with a YA sticker in my local library. I grabbed it and wandered over to a librarian to ask if this was a mistake. She looked it up, verified that indeed, it was considered a YA title by the entire Seattle Library system, and then asked, "Is this a problem, do you want to file a complaint?"

If I'd had a complaint, it would have been against whichever nitwit decided that SciFi = kids books, or that since Heinlein had written scifi kids books, that therefore all of his scifi must be kids books. Mind you, since I'd read Stranger at 11, I certainly wasn't going to make it harder for other kids to do the same. But YA? I don't think so.

#109 ::: Kerry ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:22 AM:

PNH: If I didn't get any email back, does that mean my copy is in the mail? Thanks, Kerry

#110 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:41 AM:

sherrold @108:

15+ years ago, librarians had to manually catalog every book, unlike today where most books, including Stranger In A Strange Land, have dozens of MARC records on Worldcat to choose form, most with genre tags and subject headings already placed by our benevolent overlords at the Library of Congress. Back then, if Librarian X didn't read sci-fi and wasn't familiar with the material, they would have to use best judgment when deciding where to put the book. Best judgment in cataloging often comes down to figuring out what other books by this author the library already has and where are those located? Beyond that, guess work. A cursory glance at Stranger In A Strange Land by someone not in the Heinlein loop would plausibly put the book in YA, especially if they have a selection bias that defaults to: sc-fi=kids stuff.

We modern librarians are far superior and have more advanced selection criteria to avoid such biases, which is why, nowadays, all books are placed correctly in the appropriate section and no one ever challenges a book needlessly.

#111 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:45 AM:

I find it hard to get worked up about grown-up SF being put in the YA section; this is at least partly because of the number of times I've seen grown-up SF put in the children's section.

("Excuse me, Ms. Librarian. Do you realise that this book I just found in the children's section features a murder and at least two sex scenes?"

"Don't look at me. We just plug in the catalogue data the State Library sends us.")

#112 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Back at the end of the 1960s, when I started high school, I started exploring my high school library's collection of what was then called West Indian literature. I don't believe the librarians had read quite a few of the books that were on the shelves, otherwise, for example, the moderately graphic sex scene in Ismith Khan's The Obeah Man ('bite my breasts, I want to remember this love tomorrow!') would not have appeared before my thirteen-year-old eyes. Or be stuck in my memory.

#113 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 12:12 PM:

The local Half Price Books has the Tales of the Otori in their childrens' section - those particular novels were a bit intense for me even now, and I've been reading out of the adult section since I was nine.

#114 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 12:33 PM:

Cory 102: ...it's very much a +/- a few days situation.

Why shouldthese few days be different from any others? (Guvf vf n cnffbire wbxr. V nz ABG npghnyyl gjvggvat Pbel sbe abg trggvat vg ba gur jro snfgre!)

Paul 111:

See Dick run.

Run, run, run.

This wouldn't happen if you wore a condom, jackass.

#115 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 12:43 PM:

Paul A @ 111... grown-up SF being put in the YA section

Is it true that Le Guin's Lathe of Heaven was originally published as a YA - or whatever YA books used to be called before there were YAs?

#116 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 12:55 PM:

I don't know to whom Lathe of Heaven was marketed, but I do know that I found it in my middle-school library. I recall it as one of the books which I utterly failed to understand in seventh grade, and which miraculously made much more sense when I returned to it in college.

#117 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 01:05 PM:

The Otori books are marketed in the ads for them as YA.

I'm not sure that was the case with the first two, but it is certainly the case with the latest volume, and now the earlier associated titles.

Love, C.

#118 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 01:15 PM:

PNH @ #93:

I think you should find out who's in charge of author talks at Google NY. Exercising my astonishing powers of Publishing Precognition, I predict that what he or she will tell you is that Cory Doctorow is scheduled to give a talk at Google NY at 3 PM on May 28. Amazing, isn't it?


Oh, cool; very glad to hear it. I did find the relevant internal group, but they didn't get back to me yet. (I can confirm by looking at other internal stuff that there is indeed some author talk on May 28th at 3pm, but I can't see who it is)

#119 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 01:41 PM:

My full quote, which I gave Patrick permission to truncate (as other blurbers had covered that ground) was:

I can talk about /Little Brother/ in terms of its bravura political speculation or its brilliant uses of technology--each of which make this book a must-read--but, at the end of it all, I'm haunted by the universality of Marcus's rite-of-passage and struggle, an experience any teen today is going to grasp: the moment when you choose what your life will mean and how to achieve it.

#120 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 01:59 PM:

rymenhild @ 116... If Lathe was indeed marketed as a YA, and if that was the wish of the author, Le Guin must have a high opinion of what a teenager can handle. Then again, how many of us went to the school's library and thought "I'm going to look for the YA kind of SF"? We went for what was available, either the kid stuff or the grownup stuff. It was SF and that's all that mattered.

#121 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:10 PM:

Hey PNH, based on your cresting comment, do you have pre-order numbers yet? This seems like an awfully big launch for Tor.

Or, at least, that's what I'm trying to accomplish on this end.

#122 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:12 PM:

Constance Ash (117): I bought the first two Otori books for the adult section of my library, which means that they were reviewed as adult books (and thus presumably marketed that way as well). IIRC, a bigger question was whether to shelve them in SF or general fiction.

#123 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:34 PM:

That's certainly what I did. If it said SF or fantasy, I read it, and I made what sense of it I could. I wouldn't want to have missed the delights of reading Asimov's The Gods Themselves twice, at age twelve and age seventeen, and experiencing the two readings as two entirely different (and equally fascinating) books.

#124 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:38 PM:

Xopher writes in #43:

Oh, and Little Brother, with a character called "w1n5t0n"? His last name wouldn't be Smith, would it?

No. The character has read 1984, which indeed does motivate his chosen handle (following his brush with law enforcement).

#125 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 02:53 PM:

I am not going to give out numbers, but it's a decent launch. Not bestseller quantities, but certainly big enough to get a stake in the ground. Books build differently in YA. I understand that Scott Westerfeld's YA science fiction novel Uglies, which has now sold something like 300,000 trade paperbacks, started at something like 30,000.

#126 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 03:20 PM:

Have you sent advance copies to conservative groups in order to get some strong public denunciations?

#127 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 03:36 PM:

PNH: I am not going to give out numbers, but it's a decent launch. Not bestseller quantities, but certainly big enough to get a stake in the ground. Books build differently in YA. I understand that Scott Westerfeld's YA science fiction novel Uglies, which has now sold something like 300,000 trade paperbacks, started at something like 30,000.

Cool, thanks for the info.

#128 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 03:38 PM:

#126 Joel Polowin: Have you sent advance copies to conservative groups in order to get some strong public denunciations?

I haven't finished it yet so I should probably shut my pie-hole, but I suspect that the strength of the denunciation would depend on the particular kind of conservative. I daresay there are plenty of old-time (pre- gay-marriage and abortion controversies) conservatives who would applaud the book.

Though, as I say, I haven't finished it yet. So if my hole is full of something besides deep dish cherry pie, then by all means somebody who actually knows what they are talking about please settle my hash. If I may mix my food groups that way.

#129 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 06:08 PM:

PNH@87: I still haven't read Scott's Pretties/Uglies/Specials books yet... but I did read Fine Prey about a decade ago (and repeatedly since then). I wasn't crazy about his Dread Empire books, but Fine Prey is something special.

And yes, I am waiting eagerly for Little Brother.

#130 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 08:22 PM:

I hope the book gets denounced. It contains the refutations to any denunciations it could receive. Cory has packed it with antibodies against dishonest attacks.

I think it's one of the three books I'm most proud to have had the privilege to copyedit (along with A Fire Upon the Deep and The Dubious Hills).

#131 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2008, 10:35 PM:

Keith@110: a cursory glance by somebody \in/ the RAH loop might not be any better; IIRC (and I'm too lazy to go 2 stories down to check), Stranger was published after a long series of YA novels, one coming-of-age, and one adult-but-clean. So at that time they would have had an excuse. (Not, however, since ~1970, when Time claimed that SiaSL inspired Manson.)

#132 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2008, 02:46 AM:

You gave Avedon a copy of this at Orbital, Patrick, and I read it yesterday. Great book, easily the best I've read so far this year. I'm slightly puzzled that our copy has a different cover than the ARC shown here - an earlier ARC print run, perhaps?

Incidentally, mention of Orbital above reminds me that the Guardian published a report on the convention that wasn't the usual 'Sci-Fi Loonies Invade (insert name here)' and, indeed, got everything right. Amazing:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/04/sf_fandom.html

#133 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2008, 04:58 AM:

108 ::: sherrold @ 108, et seq.

I pointed out to one large bookstore that "The Dark Knight Returns" was not best placed with the children's picture books (you know, the ones for five-year-olds)... I showed the graphic novel to one of the staff; they agreed and took my suggestion that it was more likly to sell if placed with the SF (there was no section for "Graphic Novels" back then).

After repeating this exercise on three separate visits to the store over a period of about a month, I gave up.

#134 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2008, 08:51 AM:

I blogged my review last month, and give Patrick to use or truncate as needbe.

[I'm particularly pleased by the title I came up with, and mildly disappointed nobody seems to have remarked upon it.]

#135 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2008, 04:17 PM:

#82: The reserve count in the Minuteman Network is now up to seven. Read fast, all of you.

Gotta go - Homeland Security is at the door ...

#136 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2008, 04:55 PM:

#122 ::: Mary Aileen re the Otori books:

That's where we had put the first two volumes in our library system here as well -- adult general fiction, not in the adult sf/f section.

Our public system also shelves adult and and YA sf/f separately in the circulating branches (we also have 4 research, non-circulating libraries in the system, and some of those have had separate, unique cataloging systems going back from before Dewey -- it gets complicated!).

Love, C.

#137 ::: Michael Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2008, 09:17 AM:

I wouldn't be bothered much by my library's putting adult SF in the YA section, though the Chung Kuo books with their fairly explicit torture and sex and torture-sex scenes caused me to raise an eyebrow. The thing that bugs the hell out of me is when a numbered series of books is split between the two sections. (Well that and when books like Scott Lynch's Lock Lamora series aren't in the SF/F section at all.)

#138 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2008, 07:15 PM:

#132, Rob Hansen: Yes, the ARC you have is from the first run; that art was a retouched stock photo. We decided we liked the idea of iconic teenagers defiantly "kicking back," but we also wanted some more evident technology in the image, and also at least one obviously female person. So we commissioned an improved version from illustrator Yuko Shimizu, which appears on the second printing of the ARC and on the actual book.

#139 ::: Professor Coldheart ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 09:35 AM:

Thank you for sending the book so fast! My copy arrived on Friday. I read it this weekend and reviewed it this morning.

Check it.

#140 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 09:43 AM:

I got it, I stayed up late to read it, and I will let my son "steal" it from me, hopefully to read carefully.

I posted my review on my LJ: etumukutenyak

#141 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 10:30 AM:

Great reviews! (I will observe that, just like Cory, I had certainly read Jane Jacobs by the time I was 17. And found her very interesting, because by that age I'd already lived in cities that epitomized the kind of urban policies she extolled, and other places that demonstrated the kinds of folly she criticized.)

#142 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 10:38 AM:

(It would in fact be terrific if people were to use this thread to link to their reviews and other commentary on Little Brother.)

#143 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:43 AM:

Just got off the phone with Uncle Hugo's, they already have it on order. When they get it is in question, though, apparently their distributor has a bias towards chain stores so it may be a week or two late. I don't mind the wait as I prefer that store over the chains/online. My daughter has already been to two author signings (Kim Harrison) there, at the age of 14mo, and I want her to be able to go there in the future should she inherit her parent's fascination with sf/fantasy.

I do have an appointment on my calendar to call them and see if it is in - I do eagerly await it!

Later,

-cajun

#144 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 11:57 AM:

I've placed an order with Amazon for three books not yet released (Little Brother, April 29th; Agatha Heterodyne and the Voice of the Castle, May 25th; Jo Walton's Half a Crown, Sept. 30th). Since I have a large to-read pile already, I opted to have the books all shipped together. But this got me to wondering when the sales get "counted", since I know that right-after-release sales figures are important -- does the sale of the book get marked as a pre-release order, or when it's finally shipped (which is when I'm charged for it), or ..?

#145 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 12:59 PM:

You can see by my sequence number that I'm not much of a cowboy; I'm way late to get an ARC, for sure. I was going to write that it's probably a good thing; RL has been getting in the way of my reading the last few weeks; I'm almost exactly in the middle of "Matter" and I started 5 days ago, which is really slow, even for me. So I figured, "wait until after the current batch of pre-orders gets here from Amazon, and allow some time to read a couple of the the technical books that have been on the 'burning a hole in my anticipation circuits'."

Then I finished reading this thread. Clearly there's more urgency here than I realized. So, I'll order it right after I hit Post here.

Oh, and by the bye, Happy Passover to everyone.

#146 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 03:21 PM:

I just got a Borders gift card via Discover card's cashback bonus deal. You can guess what I'll be using it for . . .

#147 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 03:41 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @ 145

Happy Passover to you too.

#148 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 01:00 AM:

Patrick @141, Cory @elsewhere: Any particular Jane Jacobs you would recommend? As a former sorta-rural boy, cities fascinate me.

#149 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 07:15 AM:

Kevin Riggle @ 148:

The only Jane Jacobs I've read is Systems of Survival, which I found fascinating and recomend highly.

However, it doesn't deal directly with cities per se (the way books like The Death and Life of Great American Cities or Cities and the Wealth of Nations do), so it may not be quite what you're looking for.

#150 ::: Spherical Time ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 01:38 PM:

Xopher @ 63:

I don't know if you're still around and paying attention, but that post I mentioned on the theme of what the U.S. would do to Cory is up on my blog.

You can view it here.

It's a psuedo-short story, and I'm not as funny as I try to be, so I apologize for that in advance.

#151 ::: Nick ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2008, 08:58 PM:

Patrick,



The ARC arrived today. Thank you very much.

I received two copies in separate packaging. I guess there was some sort of glitch when the mailing labels were printed. What would you like me to do with the second copy? Ship it back to you or give it away?

#152 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Patrick:

I've not as of yet received an ARC, nor did I get an email saying I was too late. Which is absolutely all well and good (as I'm buying the book anyway! and will still blog about it!). This is not a complaint; I just wanted to let you know that if something was sent to me in Ann Arbor, it hasn't arrived.

It's all the better for the VP submission story I can't finish. Or finished 1500 words ago. I can't tell. :)

#153 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 10:00 AM:

Patrick:

Actually, I just figured out by my own self why I didn't get one. I'll send you an email later.

Kimberly

#154 ::: Kerry ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 11:06 AM:

My copy arrived Monday and I finished it last night. I absolutely loved it - could barely put it down to go to work.

I've never done a book review before, but here it is.

I also posted a copy of my review to a 6K+ member reading group on LJ.

#155 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 02:16 PM:

Got my copy Tuesday (because that's when I checked my mail...) - I'm reading it inbetween bits at work - about halfway through right now.

Overall - very pleased, so far. Right voice, the bits of infodump are written to the right level (not assuming computer-stupid, not assuming 1337 either), tone is good. A couple of maybe mis-steps (do teens today need to be told what 1337 means?), but minor ones.

More (and a proper review) later, when I've actually finished it.

Scott

#156 ::: Vardibidian ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 09:17 PM:

I received the ARC yesterday, and am presently in Chapter Six. I've started rambling about it in my Tohu Bohu already, though, and will continue over the next day or two (or maybe three, because you never know).

Thanks and many thanks,

-V.

#157 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2008, 11:37 PM:

I'm fairly close to the end of the ARC I borrowed from a friend. I have another friend who has casted Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon as a primer for young geeks. Little Brother, then, is a post-9/11 Crypotonomicon. (And it saddens me that we need to make that distinction, but the world is what it is.) Stephenson's book is pretty clearly about the 90's, and Doctorow's book is pretty clearly about the current decade, and, unfortunately, probably the decade to come. I'm scared for the end, though -- I can't see any "happily ever after" in this book. Which is good from a storytelling standpoint and probably an ideological standpoint, but damned if I don't like Marcus and Ange and want things to turn out okay for them.

#158 ::: Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 06:23 AM:

Kevin@148: Death and Life of the Great American Cities, for sure.

#159 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2008, 08:46 AM:

I got it! Copy found.

I stayed up too late and got about half-way through.

It's excellent. I'm very impressed with the voice.

I'll probably finish it tonight. Review posted by Friday.

#161 ::: Today Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:34 AM:

Got it, what an awesome story! My husband laughed at the blurb on the back, thought it sounded terrible, but it was exactly the opposite. I had to seriously force myself not to read it all in one sitting...but I like this sort of book better when I take little breaks to process what's going on.

I'm busy talking it up to all my friends at UofT and will try to drag them out to the release on Thursday.

BTW, there were a couple instances of "Zeb" being spelled "Zed" near the end of the book (pg 335 & later I think). Someone probably already caught it...but I figured it couldn't hurt to mention.

#162 ::: alsafi ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 04:25 PM:

I did say something about it in my journal, but not much, as I hadn't finished it. And now I'm trying to digest it. But I've been talking about it to practically everybody I know, and everybody at work who's come across me nose down in it during lunch. It never fails--people see you avidly reading something, so they want to stroll up and ask you about it. For once, while I minded the interruption, I didn't mind it too much to tell them how awesome the book was.

I also noted a couple of morphing names. Besides Zeb becoming (briefly) Zed, Ange is referred to as Van at one point, just before the concert. And while one character calls Marcus' mother "Lillian," she is introduced to another as "Louisa." It may be too late, and this probably isn't the right place, but my inner copyeditor caught those and then sat at her desk and fretted about whether someone knew about them who could fix it.

#163 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 05:56 PM:

Augh. I sure hope the ARC was produced pre-copyedit. I caught some name-switching, but I'd hate to know I missed these.

#164 ::: Daniel H. Alvarez ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 06:35 PM:

/delurk

I'm one of the lucky bastards what got a hold of the ARC. I received it last night and started on it this morning. Now that I've finished it, I have only one thing to say...

READ THIS BOOK.

/relurk

#165 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:02 PM:

I got my copy and read it, bit by bit, through the jetlagged haze.

my review is on my blog. In a nutshell: I thought it was good--some bits of it were great, and some bits of it didn't really work for me. But I'm very glad I read it.

Thank you for the opportunity, Patrick and Cory.

#166 ::: Ian Ireland ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Thanks for the ARC. I said this when I received it, this while reading it, and this once I'd had a chance to reflect on it. Now I'm off to read what other folks had to say.

#167 ::: Crepe_suzettes ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2008, 05:53 AM:

My review is in my review blog, here . I loved it; I don't expect I'll see my copy any time again soon, as it's spoken for in three separate places. One point which is worth stressing is that given the sub-genre it's in (technical thriller) it's very non-gendered; this sort of thing usually comes with a virtual sticker saying "No Gurrrls Allowed" and this very definitely doesn't.

#169 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 11:34 AM:

This arrived today and goes out to a lot of libraries:

http://www.unshelved.com/archive.aspx?strip=20080427

It's an amusing strip dealing with life & adventures in a library. And yes, it's quite amusing.

#170 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 11:48 AM:

That "Unshelved" strip about Little Brother was mentioned and briefly discussed in the current open thread. I wasn't wild about it, and explained why, here. A pertinent response was posted here. I'm still not crazy about it, because the basic ha-ha payload of the strip is that only old guys with hippie ponytails care about these issues, whereas kids don't.

Sorry to be humor-impaired. I've been catching up on this blog this morning and the sheer enormity of what's going on has me feeling overwhelmed. I'm sure I'll get better.

#171 ::: Anna the Piper ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Delurking on here again to say that I blew through reading my ARC, which arrived on Friday! Have emailed Patrick to thank him for taking the time to send those books out; I feel very privileged to have gotten an advance look at it.

And to live up to my side of the bargain, my review of the book is here on my LJ. I have at least one friend now determined to pick up the book. :)

#172 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 07:14 PM:

OK, I'm reading it, and it's bloody scary, not least because of my own reaction to it. There's one character who I want to watch die on television as a two-week miniseries.

It's almost too upsetting to keep reading.

Almost.

#173 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 09:42 PM:

Went into local big-box store (hadn't been in for a couple of weeks) and discovered it on the new-hardback table. (I went in to look at the outside-edge-of-China cookbook reviewed by local newspaper, and decided that $40 is a bit pricy for something that's half cookbook and half coffee-table travelogue, even if the food part is wonderful.)

#174 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2008, 10:30 PM:

Just ordered a copy from Amazon. Well, sort of. I took my Discover Card "cash back bonus" as a Borders gift card. www.borders.com points to a kind of Amazon alias. If click on the wrong things you end up in Amazon.com proper, but if you do it right you end up ordering from borders.com and can use Borders gift cards.

#175 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2008, 08:17 AM:

Thanks for the ARC.

Finally started reading it this morning. Ripping through it.

Scary good, and scary. It "feels" right, and feels like the DHS responses could and would happen.

#176 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Uncle Hugo's has it in stock! *rubs hands together and smiles gleefully* Apparently they got it in on Friday, so I missed getting to read it this weekend. I'd set myself a reminder for today as it's supposed to be out today, so I get to buy it on my way home from work. Yay!

Unfortunately, my attempts at review tend towards overlong plot summary, so I'll probably not be contributing much more than whether I liked it or not.

later,

-cajun

#177 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2008, 12:54 PM:

I've recommended it to the Book Salon at Firedoglake, based on the first few pages.

I'd buy copies for Pelosi and Conyers, if I thought they'd actually read it.

#178 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2008, 10:52 PM:

Here's my review.

Be gentle; I've never actually written a book review before, oddly enough.

#179 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2008, 11:28 PM:

I posted my review on my LJ, on another website I frequent, and on my MySpace blog, with a link to the book's own MySpace page. I linked to the review in a bulletin and on my main group.

#180 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2008, 06:13 AM:

My copy from Amazon was waiting for me when I got home from work (yesterday by now), but I couldn't start reading it immediately; Real Life keeps getting in the way of my pleasures. I'll start reading it later today. I'm really anxious to see what Cory thinks will take down DHS.

#181 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2008, 03:13 PM:

I seem to be just about the only reader who finds the didacticism in the novel trying, the writing tiresome, and the voice - well, altogether conventional YA. Easy reading, nothing of the 'wow' political or psychological insights I was led to expect. Lots of hype about it, though.

#182 ::: virgil xenophon ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 12:23 AM:

#171 "Anna"; RE: Your Review. I'm always amused at those who consider the "real" enemy not those terrorists who would (and already have in the real world) killed thousands, but instead consider the "true" menace to be the very duly elected democratic government that is trying to protect them--albeit in often ham-fisted ways. Have a nice time in Canada, eh?

#183 ::: Francis D ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2008, 10:12 AM:

#182:

I've yet to see the terrorists who can manage to kill more than half a million people and turn millions more into refugees (and that's just the Iraq war). I've yet to see any act of terrorism that has cost a country $3 trillion. A ham fisted government is more dangerous to the population at all levels than terrorists have ever been. On the other hand, this isn't to say that government is evil (it's not even inefficient for an institution of its size much of the time), but the government needs watching more carefully than terrorists do because it's far bigger and has a track record of doing much more damage. (It also has a track record of doing much more good than just about any charity, but I digress).

#184 ::: virgil xenophon ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2008, 02:19 AM:

Francis D #183 @5/13/08

I would say "yet" is the operative term if you mean in one go, but if you total up the total confirmed cumulative world-wide deaths since 1945 you will get a figure considerably north of 500,000--in the millions if one counts African tribal mayhem. And only those who dwell in the fever swamps of the far left give even a seconds credence to the Iraqi numbers (refugees excepted, who are fairly capable of being counted). But then this is not a blog for academics--so why quibble over propaganda?

#185 ::: Antony B ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2008, 07:19 AM:

This book delivered everything it promised. Fantastically enjoyable. I have been talking about it - a lot. I'm lending this copy to my colleague, the Tech & Gadgets editor at MSN UK. She'll be talking about it here.

The next person to get it will be a friend of mine who teaches teenagers at a London school. It really is one of those books that makes you think: 'I need to give this to people'.

#186 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 07:46 PM:

I've done a quick rec on the Mamaroneck Library's teen blog and have already booktalked it to two classes (with more to come) - in both cases pushing the online link, since the library's copy hasn't arrived yet.

More interestingly, Roger Sutton, the editor in chief at Horn Book, is currently reading it, and comments on it very enthusiastically on his blog on the magazine's website. He also links to Cory Doctorow's related how-tos.

#187 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2008, 06:16 PM:

The prolific and ubiquitous Professor Henry Jenkins has reviewed Little Brother in his blog with enthusiasm.

#188 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2008, 02:35 PM:

I read it yesterday and reviewed it here. Shorter me: I enjoyed the heck out of it as a story; I was made furious all over again by the security theater we've been seeing in this country for the past seven years.

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