Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm reading: Doctorow

I've gotten into ebooks in a big way lately. Since I got my first smartphone this spring (not exactly an early adopter, eh?) I've been downloading whatever I can find for free & reading everywhere. I love the fact that I can always have a book with me when I've got my phone. I read on transit, in the bathroom, in bed, while waiting in line, while breastfeeding. It's particularly handy while breastfeeding, when I may or may not have another hand free to properly support a book. Nearly all the (real old fashioned paper) books I read are from the library & either big or hardcover or both, so it's a bit of a strain on my skinny wrists to hold the heavy things up single-handedly. But my phone--no problem! Plus, it's handy when getting Sprout to bed, because I can turn out all the lights but still read my ebook.

While browsing one of the free ebook 'stores' online, I came across a few of Cory Doctorow's works. I downloaded & read 'Eastern Standard Tribe' & got hooked, partly because his writing is funny, quirky & entertaining, reminding me a bit of William Gibson's recent novels. I kept downloading & reading due to his stance on copyright, DRM & the impact of technology on the publishing, music & movie industry. Every novel of his has a short essay detailing why he releases them for free online. Hard to sum up his position quickly but I guess I'd say he thinks that the dinosaurs who are squabbling over DRM & suing so-called downloading 'pirates' are headed for extinction.

At the moment, I'm reading 'Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom'. After just finishing 'Makers' recently too, I'm beginning to wonder if Doctorow's got a bit of a fetish for Disney. I'd call both novels speculative fiction, rather than science fiction. They're set in the future some time, 'Makers' the relatively near future, 'Down & Out' a little further into the mists, but neither one involves space travel or aliens or unfathomable technology. (Which is not to say I don't love that stuff--I've been a sci-fi fan since childhood) His characters are believable, imperfect & interesting hackers, writers & misfits. The pace of the novels doesn't drag on. He takes a new technology concept like 3D printers, for example, & runs with it, seeing where life could go with these things, how it might change business & entertainment.

Check out Doctorow's website, Craphound for info on & free downloads of his short stories, novels, young adult novels & essays. You can also find his work through ereaders' online ebook stores. I recommend the Aldiko reader for Android--it's super user-friendly, pages load quickly, books download nearly instantly & you can see all your book covers on a 'bookshelf'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...