Cory Doctorow, the Canadian sci-fi writer and blooger at Boing-Boing, is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. Cory wrote Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which I talked about here, back in March. I really loved Cory's descriptions of people and places, and his humor, which reminded me of Douglas Coupland and Carl Hiassen, two other fave writers of mine.
This Friday, I heard from Dan Royea, that Cory had a new book out called A Place So Foreign and 8 More, a compilation of 9 short sci-fi stories he'd written. Even better, Cory is following the success of his freely downloadable Down and Out e-book with a downloadable e-book version of A Place So Foreign. The only caveat to the free version is, just 7 of the 9 short stories are available. To get all 9 stories you'll need to buy the paper version of the book.
Still, I think 7 out of 9 stories for free is very generous in this day of Digital Rights Management. I think Cory's idea about getting his writing out there via free downloads is a great approach, and I hope it sells him lots of books. Judging by the success of Down and Out, his idea seems to be working.
Of course I grabbed a copy on Friday evening and began reading. I'm happy to report that the book is really enjoyable! I've read Craphound (the name of Cory's website is derived from this older story) and am about halfway through the title story, A Place So Foreign.
Cory has a knack at describing realistic settings and characters in a way that makes them believable, even though there might be surreal or even weird things going on with the settings or characters. He seems to know just how much sci-fi oddness he can get away with and when he does include something strange, he manages to make the reader feel as though those odd things are quite normal.
So, if you enjoy a good read, with great writing and humor blended with funky sci-fi, then be sure to check out Cory Doctorow's A Place So Foreign and 8 More. I'm only on the 2nd story of the book, but already I can highly recommend this collection! :-)