Saturday, February 07, 2009

Doctorow's outstanding 'Little Brother'

I've been reading novels that have been nominated for the Prometheus Award, the literary award for science fiction handed out by the Libertarian Futurist Society. I'm on the committee that's charged with sifting through the nominees (13 so far, I think) and coming up with a list of five or so for a finalist ballot that the general membership will vote on.

I've just finished Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother," one of the nominees. It's a really fine book, one of the best books I've read in months, and I recommended it to anyone who wants to read a good novel, learn about Internet and computer technology as it relates to privacy, or is concerned about civil liberties and politics. It was written for the young adult market, but it's really a book for everyone. Everyone else on the committee seems to like it, too; at the very least, I think it's almost surely going to be a finalist.

The book also includes an afterword by Bruce Schneier, who also contributed an afterword to one of my other favorite books, "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson, which was a finalist for the Prometheus some years ago.

Doctorow at his Web site is his usual mix of rampant egomania and breathtaking generosity. He has a post urging everyone to nominate him for the Hugo Award for his latest batch of fiction. He also has free downloads for "Little Brother" and a new book of essays, "Content," which I'll tackle when I finish the various Prometheus Award nominees.

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