/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

Today’s edition of SciFi Wire (the wire service of the SciFi channel) features an amazing, flattering article about the fact that my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a finalist for this year’s Nebula Award for Best Novel.

Doctorow also tackles morality, cloning, socialism, poverty, the right to die, freedom of choice, hubris and the cult of celebrity in the book. He said he has heard from many Disney people, and the reaction and comments about the book were “all positive. They say I captured the mood and details just right.”

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom was released in February 2003 to widespread acclaim. Blog critic Kevin Marks wrote, “About once every 10 years, a science fiction novel appears that redefines the art form. One that describes a world different from our own, but recognizably yours: extrapolated from current trends, but richly evocative of its difference, adding words to the language that needed to be coined.”

The Austin (Texas) Statesman said, “It may be the best debut science-fiction novel since [William Gibson’s] Neuromancer.”

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom went on to win a Locus Award for best first novel. If it wins the Nebula, it will join Neuromancer (1984) as a debut-novel winner.

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

The final Nebula Award ballot is out and my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a finalist! w00t! The awards ceremony is in Chicago on April 30th — I’ll be there with fingers crossed (check out the tough competition!)

Novels —

Paladin of Souls — Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos, Oct03)
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom — Cory Doctorow (Tor, Feb03)
Omega — Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov03)
Cloud Atlas : A Novel — David Mitchell (Sceptre, Jan 2004)
Perfect Circle — Sean Stewart (Small Beer Press, Jun04)
The Knight — Gene Wolfe (Tor, Jan04)

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

The preliminary ballot for the Nebula Award came out yesterday, and my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is one of six novels that made the first cut. Between now and Feb 15, my colleagues in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) will vote on a final ballot. It’s exhilarating to have just gotten this far, but it will be truly amazing if my first novel makes the final ballot. If you’re a SFWA member, I hope you’ll remember the book when your preliminary ballot arrives in the mail!

Paladin of Souls — Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos, Oct03)
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom — Cory Doctorow (Tor, Feb03)
Omega — Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov03)
Perfect Circle — Sean Stewart (Small Beer Press, Jun04)
Conquistador — S.M. Stirling (Roc, Feb04)
The Knight — Gene Wolfe (Tor, Jan04)

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

I was interviewed for an article on reputation economies in the current issue of the Utne Reader — the piece is online now!

In the 2003 science fiction novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, author Cory Doctorow imagines a society where all of life’s necessities are free, and market laws such as supply and demand cease to exist for everything else. Instead of trading in a hard currency, citizens living in this “post-scarcity economy” measure their wealth with an ephemeral, reputation-based currency called “Whuffie.” Doing something that benefits the community, like baking a cake or writing beautiful poetry, increases a person’s Whuffie, while causing a traffic accident or publishing clumsy prose can temporarily put you in a virtual poorhouse. Everyone is wired into the Internet via brain implants and can routinely view and modify others’ standing instantly (and free of charge), ultimately making one’s status the subject of majority opinion.

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

This is so freaking cool: my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom has won the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 2003. The Locus Award is based on a popular poll of readers of the trade mag, a larger group than even the Hugo voters, making it the largest beauty contest in the field. I couldn’t be any happier: thanks everyone! Hope to see you at the World Science Fiction Convention in Boston, where the award will be presented.

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

On May 30, the Ottawa Citizen ran a great profile on me and my books, with a sidebar on other authors who ppost their work online. The Citizen has a weird policy where they only let subscribers see their online archives, but Brent Kirwan, a generous reader, has sent me a high-resolution photo of the newspaper spread where you can read it yourself.

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

Back when I lived in San Francisco, the nice people at Borderlands Books did this super-cool thing where they’d take orders for my books, along with details for personal inscriptions, then get me to sign them when I dropped round the store, and ship them for free within the US (and for a modest fee elsewhere).

Of course, that became a lot less practical last winter, when I moved to London. But you’ve got another chance to get a signed, inscribed book shipped right to your door: I’m swinging briefly through SF in June (and I do mean *briefly* — sorry, no time to socialize) and I’m gonna stop by Borderlands and sign any stock that they have. If you get your order in before June 15, I’ll sign your copy that week and you’ll have it before July 1 — pretty cool!

Borderlands’ contact info is

866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110 USA
415 824-8203
888 893-4008

Call or email them with your order and payment details and they’ll get you sorted out.

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

The 2004 Aurora Award nomination form is up online — this is the award given to the best science fiction works by Canadians or people living in Canada. Canadians and people living in Canada are eligible to nominate.

For the record, my eligible works for this ballot are:

Best Novel: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Tor, January 2003

Best Short-Form Work: Nimby and the Dimension Hoppers, Asimov’s, June 2003

Flowers From Alice, New Faces in Science Fiction (Mike Resnick, ed.), December, 2003

Printed Meat and Nattering Packages, Business 2.0, May 2003

Road Calls Me Dear, The Mammoth Book of Road Stories, January 2003

Nominations are due July 17th (my birthday!).

/ / Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, News

Jill Smith has begun a distributed audiobook project for my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, whose new, liberal Creative Commons license allows for exactly this kind of mishegas (see the distributed audiobook project for Lessig’s Free Culture for an example of how well this can work). She’s recorded a reading of the prologue and posted it to the Internet Archive’s public submission area, where open-licensed material is hosted for free.

I’m immensely gratified by this — audiobooks are my favorite nontextual medium for storytelling and I can’t fall asleep at night without one. I would love for others to take Jill’s lead and finish it out.

(Thanks Jill!)