Here's a nice surprise: a glowing review of my new novel Homeland in the WSJ.
"Homeland" is as dead serious as "1984," as potentially important a "novel of ideas," with a much more engaging central character and an apparently inexhaustible supply of information on everything from brewing coffee to sneaky surveillance and how to defeat it.
Mr. Doctorow is bang up-to-date (as Orwell never was) on the uses of rapidly changing technology, both good and bad. If you want to keep up, there's a four-page appendix on how to protect your privacy and use the Net productively—so long as you're allowed, that is.
My latest Publishers Weekly column, "I Can't Let You Do That, Dave," is a look at the dangers of redesigning our computers to boss us around instead of doing what they're told and trying to help us:
Contrary to what’s been written in some quarters, Aaron Swartz didn’t attempt to download those journal articles because “information wants to be free.” No one cares what information wants. He was almost certainly attempting to download those articles because they were publicly funded scholarship that was not available to the public. They were scientific and scholarly truths about the world, information that the public paid for and needs in order to make informed choices about their lives and their governance. Fighting for information’s freedom isn’t the point. It’s people’s freedom that matters.
All of which makes the publishing community’s embrace of DRM and its advocacy for badly written, overly broad legislation to support DRM, fraught with peril. Since Frankenstein, writers and thinkers have recoiled in visceral horror at the idea of technology overpowering its creators. But when we actively build businesses that require censorship, surveillance, and control to thrive, we make a Frankenstein’s monster out of the devices that fill our pockets and homes, and the network that binds them all together.
I Can't Let You Do That, Dave
Hey, Memphis! I'm appearing tonight at The Booksellers at Laurelwood at 6PM! Tomorrow, I'll be in New Orleans, followed by Houston on Thursday. And lots more to come!
Hey, Oxford, MS! I'm coming to town today, and signing at Square Books at 5PM on the tour for my new book Homeland. I'll be in Memphis tomorrow, and then I go to New Orleans on Tuesday. Though I can hardly believe it, the tour is only halfway along, and there's tons more stops to come.
Calvin Powers of the SplatSpace makerspace posted a video of yesterday's presentation at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. Thanks, Calvin!
Hey, Decatur! I'm coming to town today on the tour for my new novel, Homeland; I'll be at the Decatur Library at 7PM. Then, on Monday I'll be in Oxford, MS, followed by Memphis on Tuesday. There's many more cities to go!
Hey, Chapel Hill! I'm headed your way today on the Homeland tour! I'll be at Flyleaf Books at 2PM. Tomorrow, I'll be in Decatur, and Monday it's a 5PM event at Square Books in Oxford, MS. I'm only halfway through the tour, too! Here's the rest of the schedule.
Hey, Miami! I'm about to head to the airport for my appearance tonight at Books & Books. Tomorrow I'll be in Chapel Hill at Flyleaf Books, and on Sunday I'll be in Decatur at the Decatur Library (sponsored by Little Shop of Stories). There's still plenty more cities to go, too!
After my event at Austin's Book People on Feb 22, I'll be doing a benefit for EFF-Austin on their location privacy campaign. We did this the last time I came through town and it was tremendous -- come on out!
An evening with Cory Doctorow and EFF-Austin
As I write this, I'm on my way to the airport, headed for Cincinnati, where I'll be doing an appearance tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on the tour for Homeland, which hit the New York Times bestseller list last night. Tomorrow, I'll be in Miami and then I'll be in Chapel Hill. There's still lots more cities on the tour!