What does the future look like? A brilliantly entertaining and original novel about the end of the economy from the visionary author of Little Brother.
Perry and Lester invent things. All sorts of things. Seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent an entirely new economic system. 'New Work' is a New Deal for the technological era. Soon barefoot bankers are criss-crossing the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal start-ups like Perry and Lester's. Together they transform a country, and journalist Suzanne Church is there to document it.
But a new economic system requires a whole new belief system – and there are plenty of non-believers out there. The New Work bust puts the dot.com-bomb to shame and soon Perry and Lester are out of funds and out of business. Down but not out, they go back to what they do best - making stuff. But when a rogue Disney executive grows jealous of their once more soaring popularity and convinces the police that their amazing 3-D printers are being used to run off AK-47s, things get very dark very quickly…
This brilliantly entertaining and original novel from the visionary author of Little Brother fizzes with bold ideas about the future and how our lives will look as part of it. But at its heart are three characters, Perry, Lester and Suzanne, on an unforgettable journey that will bring them together only to break them apart as they each try to discover how to live meaningfully in an ever-changing world filled with both beauty and horror – where some things really are immutable…
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Praise for Little Brother:
‘I’d recommend ‘Little Brother’ over pretty much any book I’ve read this year. Because I think it’ll change lives. It’s a wonderful, important book’ Neil Gaiman
‘Cory Doctorow’s novel could hardly be more relevant, scary and eye-opening … seriously entertaining.’ The Times
‘A cracking read’ Guardian
‘A well structured and superbly executed thriller with breakneck pacing and an emotional payoff to boot. Engaging, thought provoking, and at times harrowing.SciFi Now
‘An entertaining thriller and a thoughful polemic on Internet-era civil rights … a terrific read’ New York Times
‘A compulsive and chillingly credible read … would make a great discussion for any reading group’ New Books
‘A tale of struggle familiar to any teenager, about those moments when you choose what your life is going to mean.’ Steven Gould, author of ‘Jumper’From the Author:
1. Makers is concerned with the end of the economy. Can you see the changes that occur in the plot ever coming to pass?
Not as such – this isn’t meant to be predictive so much as allegorical. The kinds of microcapitalized, microprofitable firms in Makers are already here today in the form of millions of web-startups that needed little or no money to get going, and that needed to innovate all the time to stay profitable.
2. Little Brother has won, or been nominated for, several notable awards. Has this changed your writing in any way?
I don't think so! Every book is different, of course, because I’m in different circumstances every time. The book I’m writing now, For the Win, is the first book I wrote as a father, which means that the time to write it has been stolen in smaller, more intense sips than previous books; it’s also the first book I ever set out to research almost from scratch, reading hundreds of books and articles and travelling all over Asia for it. That, too, effected the writing – I feel like these macro-factors change the work more than awards (also, I had previously won and been nominated for many of the same awards!)
3. You have been described as a ‘digital-rights activist’. Do you feel that this comes across in your novels?
Yes, of course. I think sf is best at describing the social changes wrought by technological change; an activist tries to *steer* the social changes wrought by technological change. Describing and steering are closely related activities.
4. One of the things I found most enjoyable about MAKERS was the strong characterisation. Did you have a favourite character to write?
I think I had the most fun with the villain, Freddie, who epitomizes the kind of sleazy, cynical, lazy technologist that frustrates me the most. Getting into his head was a real adventure.
5. What can we expect from you in your next books?
In the twenty-first century, it’s not just capital that’s globalized: labour is, too. The Webblies are a union of ‘gold-farmers’ who labour day and night in video-games, amassing virtual gold that’s sold on to rich players. They fight their bosses, the people who own the games, and the rich speculators who trade in derivatives of game-gold for the right to organize a trade-union. And they do it all under the noses of the ruling elites in China and the rest of Asia by using video-games to outsmart them. For the Win is a book that explains labour politics and macroeconomics for kids, using an army of clever, dedicated, and endangered boys and girls who play video-games to do it. The Webblies fight pitched battles in every flavour of cyberspace, in the ports of Los Angeles, on container ships, in the slums of Mumbai, in the red light district of Singapore, and in South China’s enormous industrial cities. They are so successful that they provoke a worldwide general strike – and incur the wrath of the rich and powerful around the world. Blending near-future speculation with the exuberant gamer underground and the globalized net-culture, this is a book that gives young people the frame to understand economic meltdown, Ponzi schemes, and overheated investment bubbles.
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