Anthony Bailey (anthonybailey) wrote,
Anthony Bailey
anthonybailey

Review: For The Win

book coverFor The Win by Cory Doctorow

Doctorow weaves a highly original story setting from three observations.

  • Currency and assets in virtual worlds have significant real world value and large economies within which some people work for a living.
  • The distributed and global nature of the Net is a good fit for mobilizing employees of contemporary corporations.
  • The nature of wealth in a speculative information-driven economy is open to disruption—to gaming, if you will.
Within this context he presents a fable for young people on the historic and future importance of worker unionization.

No, seriously.

Freedom book cover Actually. it works really well: the adventure story and the message play very nicely together. I rate this as a better combination of techno-thriller and political writing than another recent read (FreedomTM, Daniel Suarez' sequel to Daemon), along both axes: For The Win is more fun despite being better grounded and relevant, and more sophisticated despite being targeted at teenagers.

The ideas are the core but the central characters are more three-dimensional than average in this kind of contemporary fantasy/sci-fi. Even though they are larger than real-life, and sometimes unreasonably heroic / physically capable / aspirational symbols, I cared about them.

Little Brother has grown up good. Recommended.

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