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Monday
Mar312003

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

I've found a great little science fiction ebook to recommend called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. It's written by Cory Doctorow, a writer, blogger and Outreach Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The story is interesting because it combines recent technological breakthroughs and potential technological discoveries, then extrapolates how they might find practical application in the future. The story's setting is a future where cloning and brain backup are commonplace, direct wireless connections to the Internet are installed in people's brains and where ad-hoc groups working for Whuffie, a type of peer recognition, have supplanted corporations.

Disneyworld (The Magic Kingdom) is the backdrop in which we find two ad-hoc groups battling for control of the park. The narrator tells the story of this epic battle from his own perspective, revealing the history of the world he's in bit by bit. To me it seemed to have the humor and feel of writing by Douglas Coupland (Microserfs) and Carl Hiassen (Lucky You), two of my favorite writers.

Even cooler, Doctorow has decided to offer his ebook as a free download in a multitude of formats for desktops (ASCII text, PDF, HTML, etc.) and for PDAs too (Palm Doc, PalmReader, iSilo, Mobipocket, etc.). Apparently this idea of sharing his work electronically has been a very popular option. Of course, the paperback book is available for purchase if you prefer that format.

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