Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow
Matt Locke

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Little Brother, and the co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing. His other YA novels include Pirate Cinema and Homeland (2013), the sequel to Little Brother. His adult novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He has been named one of the Web’s twenty-five “influencers” by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.


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Cory Doctorow: a reading from "Little Brother" Book Tour

In today's episode of Boing Boing tv, Cory Doctorow checks in from his ongoing book tour for "Little Brother," and reads a passage from this latest novel. We also learn all about the contents of his hotel minibar, and a cool steampunk watch he received which shoots cockroaches across the room.

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Cory Doctorow: a "Little Brother" reading (second in a series)

Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow performs a reading from his new novel Little Brother. This reading (from chapter 3, part 1) is the second in an ongoing BBtv series.

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Cory Doctorow: a Little Brother reading (3rd in a series)

Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow performs a reading from his new novel Little Brother. This reading (from chapter 3, part 2) is the second in an ongoing BBtv series.

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Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi -- one on one interview

Blogger to blogger ... writer to writer ... rabble rouser to rabble rouser -- Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow and Whatever blogger John Scalzi join forces to discuss their new books (with a few special effects). Click here for part 2 of the interview http://us.macmillan.com/zoestale/JohnScalzi#media

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Sci-Fi Juggernauts Meet Up - Part 2 (Zoe's Tale)

John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow continue discussing writing, pranks, and more. Their books 'Zoe's Tale' and 'Little Brother' take center stage.

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Authors@Google: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is the award-winning author of, amongst others, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, and Overclocked. He is a co-editor of BoingBoing, a contributing writer to Wired and a regular columnist in The Guardian, Make, and Popular Science.

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April 15, 2014

Homeland Audiobook

Wil Wheaton reads this independently produced audio edition of Homeland, which also includes Jacob Appelbaum's reading of his own afterword, and Noah Swartz reading his brother Aaron Swartz's afterword.

Posted by Cory Doctorow at 9:30 pm     
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Q & A

Tell us a little bit about Little Brother.

Little Brother is a YA adventure novel about hacker kids who take on the Department of Homeland Security and win back the US Bill of Rights. It’s a book written in the vein of the adventure novels I loved when I was a kid: books that taught me about how the political process worked at the same time as they were teaching me about how science and technology worked. The characters in Little Brother deploy real-world technologies that young readers can build and use themselves to make themselves more free: cryptographic tools that protect their privacy, homebrew hidden-camera detectors and so on.

What inspired you to write Little Brother?

I worked for many years at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit civil liberties organization headquartered in San Francisco. EFF fights to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy in the real world survive the transition to the digital world—keeping privacy, free speech, due process, and similar ideals alive on the Internet. I worked in a variety of ways for EFF, from scrapping at standards committees to briefing the FCC to helping to kill a bad UN treaty and replace it with a good one.

Many people seem ready to throw away our freedoms today—both in the real world and the digital world—to “fight terrorism.” Fighting terrorism has become the catch-all excuse for every pipsqueak authoritarian with an axe to grind. It’s the reason we get busted for taking pictures in the subway, carrying a bottle of medicine onto a plane, or objecting to being fingerprinted and forced to show ID just to move around the world.

Today’s kids are the most surveilled, most controlled generation in the history of the world. There’s no public space left for kids to play in unregarded, and every place they find that can be theirs is shut down or demonized as a pedophile’s dream come true—this despite the minuscule, infinitesimal proportion of attacks on children that come from strangers they meet on the Internet.

Walt Disney World has instituted mandatory fingerprinting for visitors to the park. The last time I was there, I argued with the guy at the turnstile about this. A little kid standing behind me piped up and said, “No no, you have to be fingerprinted, we all have to be fingerprinted.” It froze the blood in my veins. It’s one thing to worry that Disney is training our kids to want to be little princesses or whatnot, but that’s a pale shadow of my concern that Disney will train my daughter—who will be born in January!—to grow up to be a happy citizen of a police state.

What are some of the timely issues explored in Little Brother—and/or what issues will people find especially compelling?

Little Brother is one of those SF novels that “predicts the present,” in that I took a bunch of stuff that was bubbling under the surface of the world today and made it front and center of my world of tomorrow. There’s a whole lot in there about using censor-busting tools that allow kids to access the free Internet; about hacking game consoles to allow you to do stuff with them that the manufacturer never imagined, about fighting for the security that comes from being free—even some pretty chilling material about waterboarding.

What message, if any, do you want people to take away from Little Brother?

The most important message is the one that Benjamin Franklin gave to us in the eighteenth century: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The freedom to be left alone; to open, understand, and improve your tools; to organize; to socialize—these freedoms are all under unprecedented assault today, all over the world. The next generation of kids could grow up thinking that this is normal. That would be the worst disaster of all.

Can you talk about some of the practices or gadgets from Little Brother that exist—or almost exist—right now?

Little Brother is chockablock with real-world technologies: facial recognition systems, CCTVs, gait recognition, data-mining, RFID cards, and snoopers. Take the increasingly ubiquitous RFID—radio frequency ID—tag. These are the“contactless” chips that let you board the subway or drive through a toll-booth by authenticating yourself wirelessly.

These tools are more than a convenient way of authenticating yourself, though: they’re also a way of identifying yourself. The guy who takes your coins at the toll plaza doesn’t know who you are, just that you paid—same with the collector you show your transfer to. But with RFID, your personal identity is now logged along with the time, your destination, and so on.

What’s more, these things can be read at a distance, without your knowing it. Hackers at DefCon in Los Vegas have read these cards from forty feet away! Bad guys, snoops, and spies can identify you as you move through time and space, building up a detailed picture of all your movements. They’re even putting these things in US passports (wait for Hollywood movies in which terrorists build bombs that are triggered by US passports).

All this data makes bigger haystacks in which it becomes harder and harder to identify the needles—the real terrorist threats. Remember, the FBI had everything they needed to bust the 9/11 hijackers weeks before the planes went down, but they didn’t know it because the useful in formation was buried under mountains of useless stuff. The useless mountains are growing—and so is the chance that you’ll be mistakenly identified as a terrorist and lose your freedom in large or small ways.

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books
by the author

In Real Life

written by Cory Doctorow; Illustrations by Jen Wang
First Second

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a...


Available In:

Book
Available 10/14/2014
The Rapture of the Nerds

Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
Tor Books

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century. Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are...


Available In:

Book eBook
Lawful Interception
A Tor.Com Original
Cory Doctorow
Tor Books

An all-new tale of Marcus Yallow, the hero of the bestselling novels Little Brother and Homeland -- as he deals with the aftermath of a devastating Oakland...


Available In:

eBook
Pirate Cinema

Cory Doctorow
Tor Teen

From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother Cory Doctorow comes Pirate Cinema, a new tale of a brilliant hacker runaway who finds himself...


Available In:

Book eBook
Homeland

Cory Doctorow
Tor Teen

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist...


Available In:

Book eBook
For the Win

Cory Doctorow
Tor Teen

Now in paperback, the novel of youthful fightback against the global game bosses—from the author of Little Brother


Available In:

Book eBook
Makers

Cory Doctorow
Tor Books

Perry and Lester invent things: seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems. When...


Available In:

Book eBook
Little Brother

Cory Doctorow
Tor Teen

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...


Available In:

Book eBook
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Cory Doctorow
Tor Books

A miraculous novel of secrets, lies, magic--and Internet connectivity


Available In:

Book eBook
Eastern Standard Tribe

Cory Doctorow
Tor Books

Now in softcover, the second novel from one of the hottest writers in modern SF


Available In:

Book eBook
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow
Tor Books

On The Skids In The Transhuman Future Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity,...


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Book eBook
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