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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The second short story collection (after 2003's A Place So Foreign and Eight More) from iconic science fiction writer and renowned Internet activist (eff.org, etc.) Cory Doctorow takes a look at humankind's near-future, especially relating to our oftentimes tumultuous relationship with information technology and the politics surrounding it.
The novelette "Anda's Game" is an instant classic of a story that revolves around a 12-year-old girl's misadventures in an online fantasy game where, as a sword-wielding warrioress, she and her online clan kick butt taking out enemy strongholds for a mysterious patron who pays them cold, hard cash for every mission completed. But when Anda realizes that the avatars she is so relentlessly slaughtering are actually children in Third World sweatshops working to accumulate in-game resources (experience points, hit points, etc.) to sell to rich kids in First World countries, the game takes an ominous turn. The Hugo Awardnominated "I, Robot" -- an obvious homage to Isaac Asimov -- is another unforgettable story that takes place in a techno-totalitarian state where "social harmony" is more important than scientific innovation.
Any science fiction fan wondering where the genre is headed need only pick up a Cory Doctorow work (Eastern Standard Tribe; Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, et al.) for the answer. Just as Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke were at the vanguard of the genre in the '50s, '60s and '70s, Doctorow explores revolutionary -- and visionary -- territory with every new novel and short story he publishes. Other authors may be considered at the cutting edge of the genre: Doctorow is the cutting edge. Paul Goat Allen