Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little Brother

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems. But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

4 comments:

Nate Hoekstra said...

A+. I liked the way the technology used was explained so thoroughly. Sometimes after an especially long (but very interesting) story about the botnet or gait recognition cameras I would go back and reread just to make sure I completely understood what was going on. Outside of that, the storyline and characters are fantastic. Kinda reminded me of a younger and more tech-oriented "Rats Saw God", if you've read that.

Ron Hogan/GalleyCat said...

One of the most awesome books any young adult could read this summer… and one of the most important novels anyone of voting age could read in the months leading up to our next election.

Jo Walton/Farthing said...

It's about growing up in the near future where things have kept going on the way they've been going, and it's about hacking as a habit of mind, but mostly it's about growing up and changing and looking at the world and asking what you can do about that. The teenage voice is pitch-perfect. I couldn't put it down, and I loved it.

Neil Gaiman/Author said...

I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year, and I'd want to get it into the hands of as many smart 13 year olds, male and female, as I can.
Because I think it'll change lives. Because some kids, maybe just a few, won't be the same after they've read it. Maybe they'll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it'll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they'll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they'll want to open their computer and see what's in there. I don't know. It made me want to be 13 again right now and reading it for the first time, and then go out and make the world better or stranger or odder. It's a wonderful, important book, in a way that renders its flaws pretty much meaningless.