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by Cory Doctorow

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"From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother, a major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America" "Perry and Lester invent things - seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the "New Work," a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot

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"From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother, a major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America" "Perry and Lester invent things - seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the "New Work," a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups like Perry and Lester's. Together, they transform the country, and Andrea Fleeks, a journo-turned-blogger, is there to document it." "Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot.combomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Wal-Marts across the land. As their rides, which commemorate the New Work's glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lester's 3D printers are being used to run off AK-47s." "Hordes of goths descend on the shantytown built by the New Workers, joining the cult. Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perry's friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the 'fatkins' treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo." Then things get really interesting.

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Editorial Reviews

Sara Sklaroff
Doctorow…has an ear for geek-talk and corporate-speak…plus a Carl Hiaasen-like sense of caper.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In this tour de force, Doctorow (Little Brother) uses the contradictions of two overused SF themes—the decline and fall of America and the boundless optimism of open source/hacker culture—to draw one of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades. Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks, typical brilliant geeks in a garage, are trash-hackers who find inspiration in the growing pile of technical junk. Attracting the attention of suits and smart reporter Suzanne Church, the duo soon get involved with cheap and easy 3D printing, a cure for obesity and crowd-sourced theme parks. The result is bitingly realistic and miraculously avoids cliché or predictability. While dates and details occasionally contradict one another, Doctorow's combination of business strategy, brilliant product ideas and laugh-out-loud moments of insight will keep readers powering through this quick-moving tale. (Nov.)
Library Journal
After winning acclaim and awards for his YA novel Little Brother, Locus Award winner Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) returns to adult sf. His latest involves a corporate executive who funds high-tech microprojects—they cost thousands of dollars instead of millions—a pair of inventors who can make anything out of anything, and a blogger who chronicles their careers. Doctorow isn't Pollyannesque about the effects of rapid technological change: change of such scope and force is often devastating—boom followed by bust, then boom again, then bust. The ending of this well-written, well-conceived novel is bittersweet. VERDICT In speculative fiction, too often the ideas outrun the writing, but not here. Doctorow's novel features a good, modest story, appealing characters, and extremely interesting ideas that will appeal to his fans and sf aficionados as well as readers interested in cogitating on the social consequences of cybertechnology's near-exponential growth. Enthusiastically recommended.—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
Kirkus Reviews
A strangely lifeless outing from Canadian author and blogger Doctorow. The author again combines cutting-edge technology with libertarian ideas in his latest novel, set in a near-future America. A group of corporate-funded hardware engineers in Florida perfect a three-dimensional printer that allows products of all kinds to be churned out with little effort. The corporation tanks, but the printer technology spreads throughout society, and the out-of-work engineers independently use it to create their own amusement-park rides. Walt Disney Company executives, unamused, use lawsuits and shady corporate espionage to try and bring the creators down. Doctorow rides several of his usual hobbyhorses, particularly focusing on open-source technology, intellectual-property law and crowdsourcing; his obsession with Disney goes back to his debut (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, 2003). But while the brilliant Little Brother (2008) meshed similar ideas with appealing characters and a sharp, fast-paced thriller plot, this aimless follow-up lacks the visceral narrative drive of Doctorow's previous work. Indeed, many of its two-dimensional characters-techies, bloggers, corporate types and goth teenagers-seem to exist merely as mouthpieces for the author's views, while the plot drifts along with little urgency. Uncharacteristically bland and disappointing.
Paul DiFilippo
I would imagine that for any writer to be repeatedly referenced in public as the last, best hope of the future of genre fiction must feel like an extremely heavy and wearisome burden to carry -- rather like the alluringly poisoned mantle worn by Barack Obama right up to his actual election. The sensations experienced by the unfortunate icon are probably a mix of those of Shakespeare's King Henry IV in his speech that culminates with the line "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," and those of the clichéd veteran gunslinger constantly watching over his shoulder for an even Younger Hombre ready to challenge him.

Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem have both undergone this unasked-for savior treatment, with regards to mainstream/slipstream literature -- to the point where they were parodied in comic strip form as the only superheroes who could rescue the fair maiden fiction from extinction. But contemporary fiction is so sprawling and diffuse that there are always additional foci of hope, and a Dave Eggers or a Zadie Smith can be summoned by signal-watch to share the duties, acting as a kind of Justice League of Literature.

In science fiction, however, the pool of hip, youthful, happening, fresh-eyed, keen-witted, media-savvy, broad-shouldered, accomplished, extroverted and talented writers, blending both revolution and tradition in just the right proportions, is noticeably shallow at the moment. There's Neal Stephenson, but he's rather too distant and hermetic, with a low profile and unfathomable, mutating goals. So these days, when pundits and fans alarmed over the prospect of SF's demise want to point to a knight in shining prose who can defeat all the dragons besetting the genre and guide it to the Shining City on the Hill, they invariably point to Cory Doctorow.

Not that Doctorow's comandeering of the spotlight is due only to the absence of rivals from the stage. He'd stand out even if suitable candidates were thronged thick as locusts, he's that good. And despite all the generally unsolicited attention and hype and expectations, Doctorow remains, to all outward appearances, an optimistic, sanguine, hyperactive, enthusiastic, altruistic, whimsical whirlwind of creativity. This is, after all, a man who, with rock-star audacity, chose to name his firstborn child Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow.

It's enough to make you think he really is the Chosen One.

Doctorow's Makers will certainly confirm his high standing in the forefront of a fresh school of science fiction that is attempting simultaneously to honor the long lineage of its speculative ancestors and to reclothe all the old tropes in ultramodern dress, tossing out shabby conceits and shopworn attitudes.

Unlike Michael Chabon or Jonathan Lethem, who express a reverence for pulp and pop culture that extends only to its classiest elements -- homages to Philip K. Dick are fine, but any reference to A. E. van Vogt, a predecessor whom Dick admired and learned from, is considered déclassé -- Doctorow unabashedly embraces the totality of science fiction, working hard to extricate its core storytelling virtues, predictive techniques and accumulated wisdom from the garish debris of lazy hacks that encumber the medium's ability to offer a clear and interesting vision of the future.

Symbolically befitting its subject matter, Makers incorporates bits and pieces from almost every era of SF's history into its innovative bricolage, along with a journalistic topicality and trendiness. The result is a synthesis that is at once traditional and revolutionary, an upgrade or rebirth of the genre that still leaves the product recognizable yet improved. But before identifying some of the historical components of this sparkling new machine, a precis of its plot.

The time is the day after tomorrow. America's economy is in shambles, hollowed out, leaving millions in poverty and homeless. Suzanne Church is a fiesty middle-aged journalist who pokes around in odd corners of the cultural wreckage. At the behest of eccentric millionaire Landon "Kettlebelly" Kettlewell, she takes on the assignment of covering two young genius "makers" in their Florida favela: Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks. Before you can say "venture capitalist," Perry and Lester, bankrolled by Kettlewell, have radicalized 20 percent of the faltering U.S. economy with a paradigm called the "New Work." But even their best efforts can't stem the domino cascade of global failures, and their enterprise collapses.

Several years pass, with the principals of the New Work all scattered. But the gang gets back together again around the nucleus of a strange kind of amusement-park ride invented by Perry and Lester, a ride that conveys a subliminal story of the zeitgeist to the tourists. But because the successful, quickly franchised ride incidentally incorporates bits of proprietary Disney merch, the tinkerers end up against Uncle Walt's corporate behemoth, in the form of nasty Sammy Page, VP for Fantasyland. The realpolitik, culture-jammer war that follows culminates in unexpected fashion, and a coda, set some 15 years later, wraps up emotional loose ends.

The armature on which these events are soldered is an amalgam of so many essential SF touchstones, here presented in historical order.

The utopianism is pure H. G. Wells, while the scattershot myriad-ideas-per-page is all Hugo Gernsback. Suzanne's descent from privilege into the shabby world of the oppressed workers summons up silent scenes from Metropolis. From the pulp era, John Campbell's Arcot, Morey and Wade, peerless breadboarding, scrapheap-searching inventors, salute Perry and Lester with a wink. (This "bromantic" motif finds expression in the current work of Rudy Rucker as well, a figure allied to Doctorow's sensibilities.) Meanwhile Doc Savage and his merry band of variegated followers applaud the similar familial vibe that the tribe of makers exudes.

Of course, Robert Heinlein sits Buddha-like at the core of this novel, as he does of all SF, even that which protests and denies his influence. His famous "competent man" archetype has actually been fractionated here: Perry and Lester possess the technical smarts, but are naïve otherwise; Suzanne sports the media, social-engineering chops; and Kettlewell boasts the financial acumen. (It should be noted that "Kettle Belly Baldwin" was an actual Heinlein character, found in "Gulf" [1949] and Friday [1982].) Damon Knight's A for Anything (1959) deals with some of the same issues of social upheaval via distributed means of production found here, and the insidious animatronic toys in Dick's short-story "War Game" are evoked almost specifically in Doctorow's "Disney in a Box" gimmick. William Gibson's cyberpunk maxim that "The street finds its own uses for things" embodies the maker ethos as pithily as any formulation. Finally, some of Vernor Vinge's succinct futurism found in his novel Rainbows End (2006) seems inspirational as well.

But to adduce the usage of all these templates and models is not to diminish Doctorow's insights and originality and skillful handling of his material. He has simply adapted these older SF tools and tropes to an insightful exegesis of our current dilemma, a highly entertaining fictional modeling of a path forward from our current sociopolitical, cultural impasse. To have generated the deep insights into our dilemma and then found clever ways of dramatizing his findings is Doctorow's unassailable accomplishment.

I found Doctorow's characters to be a well-fleshed assortment of folks, and their interactions plausibly non-linear. Although they do all possess an identical fluidity of gab that seldom leaves them wordless. He has an empathy for Kerouackian actors, "the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, etc., etc." Makers = techno-beatniks is an easy, albeit facile equation. And indeed, the epilogue that reunites Perry and Lester proves surprisingly touching. Doctorow's overstuffed plot never leaves the reader buffing her nails. His prose is always colorful and humorous. In fact, his sense of the comic and a propensity for satire are two of his secret weapons that seduce the reader into falling easily into this future.

In the end, Makers feels like a personal, cultural, and literary milestone: an employment of the full literary toolbox of SF, in the service of a portrait of how the world actually works.

If only every genre author set out with the same high ambitions, there would be no talk of SF's failures, only triumphs. --Paul DiFilippo

Author of several acclaimed novels and story collections, including Fractal Paisleys, Little Doors, and Neutrino Drag, Paul Di Filippo was nominated for a Sturgeon Award, a Hugo Award, and a World Fantasy Award -- all in a single year. William Gibson has called his work "spooky, haunting, and hilarious." His reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Science Fiction Weekly, Asimov's Magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Bruce Sterling
This is just one king-hell of a science fiction novel. Nobody in the world but [Doctorow] could have fabricated this amazing thing. It reads like it was written in 800-word van Vogt bursts in between yoga sessions, but man, this is the stuff. It makes twentieth century science fiction read like an antique collection.

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Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.37(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Cory Doctorow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2009 Cory Doctorow
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-6928-4


Suzanne Church almost never had to bother with the blue blazer these days. Back at the height of the dot-boom, she'd put on her business-journalist drag — blazer, blue sailcloth shirt, khaki trousers, loafers — just about every day, putting in her obligatory appearances at splashy press conferences for high-flying IPOs and mergers. These days, it was mostly work at home or one day a week at the San Jose Mercury's office, in comfortable light sweaters with loose necks and loose cotton pants that she could wear straight to yoga after shutting her computer's lid.

Blue blazer today, and she wasn't the only one. There was Grimes from the NYT's Silicon Valley office, and Gomes from the WSJ, and that despicable rat-toothed jumped-up gossip columnist from one of the U.K. tech-rags, and many others besides. Old home week, blue blazers fresh from the dry-cleaning bags that had guarded them since the last time the NASDAQ broke five thousand.

The man of the hour was Landon Kettlewell — the kind of outlandish prep-school name that always seemed a little made up to her — the new CEO and front for the majority owners of Kodak/Duracell. The despicable Brit had already started calling them Kodacell. Buying the company was pure Kettlewell: shrewd, weird, and ethical in a twisted way.

"Why the hell have you done this, Landon?" Kettlewell asked himself into his tie-mic. Ties and suits for the new Kodacell execs in the room, like surfers playing dress-up. "Why buy two dinosaurs and stick 'em together? Will they mate and give birth to a new generation of less-endangered dinosaurs?"

He shook his head and walked to a different part of the stage, thumbing a PowerPoint remote that advanced his slide on the JumboTron to a picture of a couple of unhappy cartoon brontos staring desolately at an empty nest. "Probably not. But there is a good case for what we've just done, and with your indulgence, I'm going to lay it out for you now."

"Let's hope he sticks to the cartoons," Rat-Toothed hissed beside her. His breath smelled like he'd been gargling turds. He had a not-so-secret crush on her and liked to demonstrate his alpha-maleness by making half- witticisms into her ear. "They're about his speed."

She twisted in her seat and pointedly hunched over her computer's screen, to which she'd taped a thin sheet of polarized plastic that made it opaque to anyone shoulder-surfing her. Being a halfway-attractive woman in Silicon Valley was more of a pain in the ass than she'd expected, back when she'd been covering rust belt shenanigans in Detroit, back when there was an auto industry in Detroit. California was full of pretty girls, right? But that was the other California, south of San Luis Obispo, the part of the state where the women shaved their pits and straightened their hair. The women of Silicon Valley were only barely more attractive than their male counterparts.

The worst part was that the Brit's reportage was just spleen-filled editorializing on the lack of ethics in the valley's boardrooms (a favorite subject of hers, which no doubt accounted for his fellow-feeling), and it was also the crux of Kettlewell's schtick. The spectacle of an exec who talked ethics enraged Rat-Toothed more than the vilest baby killers. He was the kind of revolutionary who liked his firing squads arranged in a circle.

"I'm not that dumb, folks," Kettlewell said, provoking a stagy laugh from Mr. Rat-Tooth. "Here's the thing: the market had valued these companies at less than their cash on hand. They have twenty billion in the bank and a sixteen-billion-dollar market cap. We just made four billion dollars, just by buying up the stock and taking control of the company. We could shut the doors, stick the money in our pockets, and retire."

Suzanne took notes. She knew all this, but Kettlewell gave good sound bite, and talked slow in deference to the kind of reporter who preferred a notebook to a recorder. "But we're not gonna do that." He hunkered down on his haunches at the edge of the stage, letting his tie dangle, staring spacily at the journalists and analysts. "Kodacell is bigger than that." He'd read his email that morning, then, and seen Rat-Toothed's new moniker. "Kodacell has goodwill. It has infrastructure. Administrators. Physical plant. Supplier relationships. Distribution and logistics. These companies have a lot of useful plumbing and a lot of priceless reputation.

"What we don't have is a product. There aren't enough buyers for batteries or film — or any of the other stuff we make — to occupy or support all that infrastructure. These companies slept through the dot-boom and the dot-bust, trundling along as though none of it mattered. There are parts of these businesses that haven't changed since the fifties.

"We're not the only ones. Technology has challenged and killed businesses from every sector. Hell, IBM doesn't make computers anymore! The very idea of a travel agent is inconceivably weird today! And the record labels, oy, the poor, crazy, suicidal, stupid record labels. Don't get me started.

"Capitalism is eating itself. The market works, and when it works, it commodifies or obsoletes everything. That's not to say that there's no money out there to be had, but the money won't come from a single, monolithic product line. The days of companies with names like General Electric and General Mills and General Motors are over. The money on the table is like krill: a billion little entrepreneurial opportunities that can be discovered and exploited by smart, creative people.

"We will brute-force the problem-space of capitalism in the twenty-first century. Our business plan is simple: we will hire the smartest people we can find and put them in small teams. They will go into the field with funding and communications infrastructure — all that stuff we have left over from the era of batteries and film — behind them, capitalized to find a place to live and work, and a job to do. A business to start. Our company isn't a project that we pull together on, it's a network of like-minded, cooperating autonomous teams, all of which are empowered to do whatever they want, provided that it returns something to our coffers. We will explore and exhaust the realm of commercial opportunities, and seek constantly to refine our tactics to mine those opportunities, and the krill will strain through our mighty maw and fill our hungry belly. This company isn't a company anymore: this company is a network, an approach, a sensibility."

Suzanne's fingers clattered over her keyboard. The Brit chuckled nastily. "Nice talk, considering he just made a hundred thousand people redundant," he said. Suzanne tried to shut him out: yes, Kettlewell was firing a company's worth full of people, but he was also saving the company itself. The prospectus had a decent severance for all those departing workers, and the ones who'd taken advantage of the company stock-buying plan would find their pensions augmented by whatever this new scheme could rake in. If it worked.

"Mr. Kettlewell?" Rat-Toothed had clambered to his hind legs.

"Yes, Freddy?" Freddy was Rat-Toothed's given name, though Suzanne was hard-pressed to ever retain it for more than a few minutes at a time. Kettlewell knew every business journalist in the Valley by name, though. It was a CEO thing.

"Where will you recruit this new workforce from? And what kind of entrepreneurial things will they be doing to 'exhaust the realm of commercial opportunities'?"

"Freddy, we don't have to recruit anyone. They're beating a path to our door. This is a nation of manic entrepreneurs, the kind of people who've been inventing businesses from video arcades to photomats for centuries." Freddy scowled skeptically, his jumble of gray tombstone teeth protruding. "Come on, Freddy, you ever hear of the Grameen Bank?"

Freddy nodded slowly. "In India, right?"

"Bangladesh. Bankers travel from village to village on foot and by bus, finding small co-ops who need tiny amounts of credit to buy a cellphone or a goat or a loom in order to grow. The bankers make the loans and advise the entrepreneurs, and the payback rate is fifty times higher than the rate at a regular lending institution. They don't even have a written lending agreement: entrepreneurs — real, hard-working entrepreneurs — you can trust on a handshake."

"You're going to help Americans who lost their jobs in your factories buy goats and cellphones?"

"We're going to give them loans and coordination to start businesses that use information, materials science, commodified software and hardware designs, and creativity to wring a profit from the air around us. Here, catch!" He dug into his suit jacket and flung a small object toward Freddy, who fumbled it. It fell onto Suzanne's keyboard.

She picked it up. It looked like a key-chain laser pointer, or maybe a novelty lightsaber.

"Switch it on, Suzanne, please, and shine it, oh, on that wall there." Kettlewell pointed at the upholstered retractable wall that divided the hotel ballroom into two functional spaces.

Suzanne twisted the end and pointed it. A crisp rectangle of green laser- light lit up the wall.

"Now, watch this," Kettlewell said.


The words materialized in the middle of the rectangle on the distant wall.

"Testing one two three," Kettlewell said.


"Donde está el baño?"


"What is it?" said Suzanne. Her hand wobbled a little and the distant letters danced.


"This is a new artifact designed and executed by five previously out-of- work engineers in Athens, Georgia. They've mated a tiny Linux box with some speaker-independent continuous speech recognition software, a free software translation engine that can translate between any of twelve languages, and an extremely high-resolution LCD that blocks out words in the path of the laser pointer.

"Turn this on, point it at a wall, and start talking. Everything said shows up on the wall, in the language of your choosing, regardless of what language the speaker was speaking."

All the while, Kettlewell's words were scrolling by in black block caps on that distant wall: crisp, laser-edged letters.

"This thing wasn't invented. All the parts necessary to make this go were just lying around. It was assembled. A gal in a garage, her brother the marketing guy, her husband overseeing manufacturing in Belgrade. They needed a couple grand to get it all going, and they'll need some life support while they find their natural market.

"They got twenty grand from Kodacell this week. Half of it a loan, half of it equity. And we put them on the payroll, with benefits. They're part freelancer, part employee, in a team with backing and advice from across the whole business.

"It was easy to do once. We're going to do it ten thousand times this year. We're sending out talent scouts, like the artists and representation people the record labels used to use, and they're going to sign up a lot of these bands for us, and help them to cut records, to start businesses that push out to the edges of business.

"So, Freddy, to answer your question, no, we're not giving them loans to buy cellphones and goats."

Kettlewell beamed. Suzanne twisted the laser pointer off and made ready to toss it back to the stage, but Kettlewell waved her off.

"Keep it," he said. It was suddenly odd to hear him speak without the text crawl on that distant wall. She put the laser pointer in her pocket and reflected that it had the authentic feel of cool, disposable technology: the kind of thing on its way from a start-up's distant supplier to the schwag bags at high-end technology conferences to blister packs of six hanging in the impulse aisle at Fry's.

She tried to imagine the technology conferences she'd been to with the addition of the subtitling and translation and couldn't do it. Not conferences. Something else. A kids' toy? A tool for use by Starbucks-smashing anti-globalists planning strategy before a WTO riot? She patted her pocket.

Freddy hissed and bubbled like a teakettle beside her, fuming. "What a cock," he muttered. "Thinks he's going to hire ten thousand teams to replace his workforce, doesn't say a word about what that lot is meant to be doing now he's shitcanned them all. Utter bullshit. Irrational exuberance gone berserk."

Suzanne had a perverse impulse to turn the wand back on and splash Freddy's bilious words across the ceiling, and the thought made her giggle. She suppressed it and kept on piling up notes, thinking about the structure of the story she'd file that day.

Kettlewell pulled out some charts, and another surfer in a suit came forward to talk money, walking them through the financials. She'd read them already and decided that they were a pretty credible bit of fiction, so she let her mind wander.

She was a hundred miles away when the ballroom doors burst open and the unionized laborers of the former Kodak and the former Duracell poured in on them, tossing literature into the air so that it snowed angry leaflets. They had a big drum and a bugle, and they shook tambourines. The hotel rent-a-cops occasionally darted forward and grabbed a protestor by the arm, but her colleagues would immediately swarm them and pry her loose and drag her back into the body of the demonstration. Freddy grinned and shouted something at Kettlewell, but it was lost in the din. The journalists took a lot of pictures.

Suzanne closed her computer's lid and snatched a leaflet out of the air. WHAT ABOUT US? it began, and talked about the workers who'd been at Kodak and Duracell for twenty, thirty, even forty years, who had been conspicuously absent from Kettlewell's stated plans to date.

She twisted the laser pointer to life and pointed it back at the wall. Leaning in very close, she said, "What are your plans for your existing workforce, Mr. Kettlewell?"


She repeated the question several times, refreshing the text so that it scrolled like a stock ticker across that upholstered wall, an illuminated focus that gradually drew all the attention in the room. The protestors saw it and began to laugh, then they read it aloud in ragged unison, until it became a chant: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS — thump of the big drum — FOR YOUR EXISTING WORKFORCE thump MR. thump KETTLEWELL?

Suzanne felt her cheeks warm. Kettlewell was looking at her with something like a smile. She liked him, but that was a personal thing and this was a truth thing. She was a little embarrassed that she had let him finish his spiel without calling him on that obvious question. She felt tricked, somehow. Well, she was making up for it now.

On the stage, the surfer boys in suits were confabbing, holding their thumbs over their tie-mics. Finally, Kettlewell stepped up and held up his own laser pointer, painting another rectangle of light beside Suzanne's.

"I'm glad you asked that, Suzanne," he said, his voice barely audible.


The journalists chuckled. Even the chanters laughed a little. They quieted down.

"I'll tell you, there's a downside to living in this age of wonders: we are moving too fast and outstripping the ability of our institutions to keep pace with the changes in the world."

Freddy leaned over her shoulder, blowing shit-breath in her ear. "Translation: you're ass-fucked, the lot of you."


Suzanne yelped as the words appeared on the wall and reflexively swung the pointer around, painting them on the ceiling, the opposite wall, and then, finally, in miniature, on her computer's lid. She twisted the pointer off.

Freddy had the decency to look slightly embarrassed, and he slunk away to the very end of the row of seats, scooting from chair to chair on his narrow butt. On stage, Kettlewell was pretending very hard that he hadn't seen the profanity, and that he couldn't hear the jeering from the protestors now, even though it had grown so loud that he could no longer be heard over it. He kept on talking, and the words scrolled over the far wall.





Suzanne admired the twisted, long-way-around way of saying "the people we're firing." Pure CEO passive voice. She couldn't type notes and read off the wall at the same time. She whipped out her little snapshot and monkeyed with it until it was in video mode and then started shooting the ticker.


Excerpted from Makers by Cory Doctorow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Copyright © 2009 Cory Doctorow. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Makers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Born to invent and create, Perry and Lester go together like peanut butter and jelly. When they invent a whole new world with someone taking notes of every move, life becomes a little hectic. Then, when their baby crumbles, the whole world is watching. These friends are draw to the limit and it's no surprise that the company and the friendship, may be doomed for ever. Will they be able to redeem themselves? This is a witty novel that will appeal to nerds everywhere. I'm including myself in this nerd category. So to all you dorks out there, this is a book written just for you. (And me.)
harstan More than 1 year ago
Garage hackers Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks receive enormous funding (in their minds that is) from corporate America to develop a 3D printer capability that is easy to use. Their success reaches the attention of reporter Suzanne Church., but the firm fails. However the technology explodes throughout society as the ease of use makes it a winner. Gibbons and Banks back to unemployment and garage technology begin creating amusement rides from their printing capability. However, the industry and other corporate raiders object and sue the New World order while Goths invade Florida and Suzanne blogs; as for the two garage hackers who started the endeavor with a whisper their story turned into a big bang bubble that bursts. Using stereotypes to represent a cross section of self indulging Americans like the techies, the suits, the Goth teens, the bloggers, Cory Doctorow once again mocks Wall St, Main St and the Internet St. with an amusing acerbic satire of free enterprise as a fraud. The story line is humorous but also tends to wander as Makers lampoons economic prosperity bubbles that make the rich richer, the poor poorer and the middle class stagnant. That is until the burst when the rich retain their gains and obtain a bailout, the poor retains their loss and receive a cut in needed services to pay the bailout, and the middle class eats the collapse as the victims of free market capitalism, the American way. Harriet Klausner
andyc740 More than 1 year ago
The Makers is a near-future business school case study compendium meets the end of civilization as we know it.  The only thing lacking is zombies. I very much enjoyed the book.
Katana357 More than 1 year ago
I'm not finished yet but, I think I can recommend this book. The story is complex, and keeps evolving and changing as it goes. The characters are interesting and lively. I read a short story by Cory Doctorow and was intrigued by his style. That's what led me to this purchase. I have not been disappointed. Thumbs up!
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