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When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth: .mobi and .epub


Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson converted my story When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth (from the collection Overclocked) into .mobi and .epub for easy viewing on an e-reader or mobile device. I probably get more fan mail for Sysadmins than for any other story, and it won the Locus Award the year it came out (it was later adapted to comics by JC Vaughn for the IDW book Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now). Give it a read!

He piloted the car into the data-center lot, badging in and peeling up a bleary eyelid to let the retinal scanner get a good look at his sleep-depped eyeball.

He stopped at the machine to get himself a guarana/modafinil power-bar and a cup of lethal robot-coffee in a spill-proof clean-room sippy-cup. He wolfed down the bar and sipped the coffee, then let the inner door read his hand-geometry and size him up for a moment. It sighed open and gusted the airlock’s load of positively pressurized air over him as he passed finally to the inner sanctum.

It was bedlam. The cages were designed to let two or three sysadmins maneuver around them at a time. Every other inch of cubic space was given over to humming racks of servers and routers and drives. Jammed among them were no fewer than twenty other sysadmins. It was a regular convention of black tee-shirts with inexplicable slogans, bellies overlapping belts with phones and multitools.

Normally it was practically freezing in the cage, but all those bodies were overheating the small, enclosed space. Five or six looked up and grimaced when he came through. Two greeted him by name. He threaded his belly through the press and the cages, toward the Ardent racks in the back of the room.


9 Responses to “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth: .mobi and .epub”

  1. Cory, both the .mobi and .epub links are reporting 404s.

  2. Cory Doctorow says:

    Weird, working for me! Try again?

  3. Cory Doctorow says:

    Yay!

  4. Cory I'm getting a corrupt file error when trying to import the epub file into iBooks. EpubReader on Firefox is reporting "Unfortunately the ePub-file couldn't be opened. An important file (container.xml) is missing."

  5. Cory Doctorow says:

    I think there's a lot of variation in epub readers' strictness. You could try another reader, or this alternative epub:

    http://craphound.com/overclocked/Cory_Doctorow_-_Overclocked_-_When_Sysadmins_Ruled_the_Earth.epub

  6. Hey, Cory,

    The mobi and epub versions of the story available here are an edited version of the story. The section that begins with the text -- "It was nearly six months before he went home." -- is completely missing. This is the section where he goes home to see what had become of his wife Kelly and 2.0. You may recall we had to deal with this when the story was selected for Strahan's year's best anthology and I contacted you about the missing text. I have the "gold" version -- fully edited (I noted scrolling through the mobi file the occasional typo, e.g. "The" instead of "They").

    If Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson is willing to do the conversions again, I'd be more than happy to provide the full version of the story.

    Cheers,
    - martyh

  7. Cory Doctorow says:

    Holy shit! THanks, Marty -- I'll get on it.

  8. Cory Doctorow says:

    Ahh! I see what happened. Those sections are from the Baen edition -- they're edits that Eric asked for. The text that Mikael used was my "author's preferred" text.

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