Long time listeners and readers know I am a huge fan of Cory Doctorow’s writings, both fiction and non-fiction. I am thrilled that his latest novel, “For the Win“, is out today. I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy and can definitely recommend the book highly for those that enjoyed Cory’s previous young adult novel, “Little Brother“.
I would say without hesitation that I enjoyed “For the Win” even more than “Little Brother”. I dug the ideas explored in the book more than I expected–organizing labor, virtual economies, the effects of online games on globalization and youth culture. The dialectic is very well woven into the stories of all the characters, you rarely if ever feel like you are receiving an info dump. The only thing I suspect some people may not like, depending on their tastes, is that the narrative is shared across the points of view of several characters. I don’t mind that, personally, but I have friends who do. For the younger readers, there is a bit of violence but it isn’t gratuitous and should be fine for teen aged readers.
I read my copy during the big blizzard earlier this year, when we had no power for a few days and no heat. It thoroughly kept my mind off of a very worrying situation and held up to non-stop reading over the course of a few days. Not many books would have held my interest well enough to read pretty much continuously like that, “For the Win” definitely did.
Of course, as with all of Cory’s books, you can download a free electronic copy of the book, in a number of formats, and see for yourself if you enjoy it enough to pick up a print edition. I love that this time out he included my favorite format, ePub. That format is a fan conversion and is made possible by the liberal license Cory uses. You can remix or convert the book any which way you like as long as you share your changes and don’t charge for the end result.
As with “Little Brother”, Cory is working with educators and librarians to get this book into the hands of kids. There are more details on how you can help with that effort at the book’s web site. You’ll also find a link to the book tour that is kicking off this week. I encourage you to go out and see Cory if he’s coming to your town. He’s a dynamic and engaging speaker and reader plus you can pick up a signed copy of the book if you are a fan.
Lastly, I will be interviewing Cory while he’s on the book tour specifically to dig into various aspects of the book and the tropes he explores in it. If you have a relevant question you’d like me to pose, send it to me before Thursday the 13th and I’ll include as many of your questions as time allows. That interview should go out next week, Wednesday the 19th.