Cory Doctorow 2009
Cory: It was a parable about the dotcom collapse, which I lived through in San Francisco. The money left, but people kept doing cool webstuff.
Glenn: Other writers has complained about that one problem of writing about near futures, is that they tend to come true faster than you anticipated. You dream up some cool future technology, and then you read about it in the morning paper the next day. Did you experience anything like that when writing Makers?
Cory: I don't think I'm writing about the future; I'm just telling parables about the present. They're inherently contrafactual, so I don't worry if some details are more contrafactual than others.
Glenn: You have chosen Disney as the old dinosaur who tries to stop the guys with all the new ideas. Has that anything to do with your work with rights? They tend to sue anyone with Mickey Mouse ears here and now, so I guess you've run in to them before?
Cory: I love and hate 'em. They do such good work with themeparks, really respecting and engaging in dialog with their customers, but they're such litigious bullies in other realms. Made them a good patsy for this story.
Glenn: The little geek inside of me was really delighted when I read about all the gizmos that Perry and Lester invents. Was it hard to come up with all that stuff, or was it ideas you had lying around since before?
Cory: It was easy -- and fun! It's like starting a business without having to actually raise capital, hire people and run a business!
Glenn: Most of the stuff Perry and Lester comes up with sounds more or less plausible, but the Russian fatkins treatment to take care of the problem with obesity, sounds like the most SF of all the ideas in the book. Do you think something like that will emerge any time soon?
Cory: I think it's eminently plausible that someone will come up with a REALLY unhealthy way to lose weight! We've had plenty of 'em from amphetamine pills to Vioxx.
Glenn: Your books usually deals with slightly extrapolated problems of society today. You have never been tempted to write something totally different, like space opera or fantasy or something else?
Cory: I think that anything I wrote would still deal with social problems; e.g. my 2005 fantasy novel SOMEONE COMES TO TOWN, SOMEONE LEAVES TOWN, a magic realist story about telcoms policy!
Glenn: You have begun publishing Makers on-line at tor.com. What are your thought about that decision? Charles Stross put his novel Accelerando on-line for free, and he commented that this became his best selling novel up to then. What are your expectations for Makers in that regard?
Cory: Well, I've always put my books online as free downloads simultaneous with publication... I'm slightly skeptical of the value of a pre-release serialization, not because it will cost me sales but because readers of the serial can't buy the book as soon as they're hooked!
Glenn: What are your thoughts on the future of the printed book versus electronic media like computers, iphones, e-books etc?
Cory: I have many, encapsulated at great length in a book called CONTENT, http://craphound.com/content.
Glenn: And lastly, what are you working on next?
Cory: Just finished a young adult novel for next spring called FOR THE WIN, about gamer kids around Asia and the US who form a trade-union under the noses of their bosses, organizing in huge multiplayer video-games.
Content (Essays): http://craphound.com/content
Free novel: Little Brother: craphound.com/littlebrother
Free graphic novel: http://craphound.com/?p=2079
Free novel: Someone Comes to Town: craphound.com/someone
Free novel: Eastern Standard Tribe: craphound.com/est
Free novel: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom: craphound.com/down
Free stories: Overclocked: craphound.com/overclocked
Free stories: A Place So Foreign: craphound.com/place
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