Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live through a bioweapon attack or to have every aspect of your life governed by invisible ants? In Cory Doctorow’s collection of novellas, he wields his formidable experience in technology and computing to give us mind-bending sci-fi tales that explore the possibilities of information technology—and its various uses—run amok.
“Anda’s Game” is a spin on the bizarre new phenomenon of “cyber sweatshops,” in which people are paid very low wages to play online games all day in order to generate in-game wealth, which can be converted into actual money. Another tale tells of the heroic exploits of “sysadmins”—systems administrators—as they defend the cyberworld, and hence the world at large, from worms and bioweapons. And yes, there is a story about zombies too.
“Cory Doctorow straps on his miner’s helmet and takes you deep into the caverns and underground rivers of pop culture, here filtered through SF-colored glasses. Enjoy.”
“Doctorow is rapidly emerging as the William Gibson of his generation.”
“This collection shows a stunning talent coming into his own, balancing good storytelling and contemporary technology near perfectly…These stories reflect a wicked sense of humor, clear knowledge of contemporary problems, and an understanding of the way good SF works.”
Booklist (starred review)
“An unabashed promulgator of the Internet and its democratic potential, Doctorow explores the benefits and consequences of online systems in this provocative collection…Most ‘meat’-minded readers will find much to savor.”
“Doctorow’s intimate knowledge of the techno-cyberculture gives his stories more credibility than a casual reader might think: it doesn’t take a hardcore SF fan to believe that zombies, invisible ants, a 3D-printer world, video-game sweatshops, and global catastrophe may be lurking just around the corner…All of the tales contain provocative scenarios and believable, nonconformist protagonists. Smart, entertaining, and at the vanguard of the genre.”
“Cory Doctorow is just far enough ahead of the game to give you the authentic chill of the future…Funny as hell and sharp as steel.”
Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan
“He sparkles! He fizzes! He does backflips and breaks the furniture! Science fiction needs Cory Doctorow.”
Bruce Sterling, award-winning author and one of the founders of the cyberpunk genre
1 out of 1 (100%) recommend this productWrite a review
This is a decidedly high-tech group of stories.May 11, 2015Overclocked is composed of five Novellas (or long short stories). All are future tales based on high technology affecting society in a catastrophic way. The general feeling of the stories is something like the classic SciFi of the 50s and 60s (Bradbury, Asimov, Dick, etc.), but with distinctly 21st Century themes: alienation, poor vs. rich nations, availability of high tech, terrorism, and post human technology.
Short stories are intriguing for their ability to drop us headlong into the characters and action without the slow development of a book. Doctorow is quite good at this. Within minutes of starting one of the stories, you are immersed in one of his carefully crafted worlds. The characters are unusual and believable.
In After the Siege, the main character is a teenage girl caught in the horrors of prolonged war, all of it tragic because it is so unnecessary and avoidable.
I Row-Boat is a playful twist on Asimov’s famous novel, I Robot. Robbie the Row-Boat has gained consciousness, as have many high-tech devices. He contemplates the meaning of life as he rows tourist human divers around the Australian coral reefs. Too bad for all of them when the billions of processors imbedded into the reef cause it to gain consciousness itself, and it is angry. It is outrageous, inventive and pure fun.
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth is a terrific story of geeks trapped inside clean rooms as the world disintegrates around them. They, and others like them around the world, survive because they are trapped in the filtered air of the computers they protect and keep running. The Internet limps along as billions die. Of course, email spam lives on. It is a story written with a lot of technical jargon and geekspeak. Don’t let that throw you, this is a good story with a lot of real human themes.
Each story is narrated by a different performer. All are excellent and bring the stories to life without flaw.
This is a decidedly high-tech group of stories. Hard SciFi at its best. If you are intrigued by technology, do not hesitate to listen to this book. If on the other hand, high-tech jargon and technological themes don’t interest you, try the audio sample first. You may still find something to enjoy, but know that these stories appeal to a specific audience and do it well. If you find yourself in the former category, you will likely enjoy these stories immensely and listen to them more than once.
Jim Meskimen is a stage, film, and television actor who has appeared in many well-known movies and television shows. He acted in Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon for director Ron Howard, both of which were nominated for Best Picture Oscars. His television appearances include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, Lie to Me, Criminal Minds, and Parks and Recreation. He is also a painter, award-winning audiobook narrator, and audiobook director for Galaxy Audio.
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- Publisher: Blackstone Audio
- Genre: Fiction/Science Fiction
- ISBN-13: 9781483079912