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Just over a year ago, I released my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, as an experiment in what would happen if I allowed my precious copyright to be slightly eroded by one of the Creative Commons licenses. I chose the most restrictive CC license available to me, staying cautious, and I waited to see if the sky would fall.

It didn’t.

So here we are, just a little over a year later, and I am currently, at this moment, standing on a stage at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, delivering a talk called Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books, in which I lay out the case for what I’ve done and explain the myraid ways in which the sky has not fallen on me, and just about now, I’m announcing what’ sin this blog post:

That I am re-licensing Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, effective today, under the terms of one of the least restrictive Creative Commons licenses, the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, which explicitly allows anyone in the world to make any non-commercial adaptation of my book s/he can think of: translations, radio plays, movies, sequels, fanfic, slashfic…you get the picture.

I can’t wait to see what you-all make of this. Surprise me, please!

/ / Eastern Standard Tribe, News

Trevor Smith has whipped up two amazing remixes of Eastern Standard Tribe, my new novel. The first is a “speed-reader,” based on the research of Xerox PARC researcher Rich Gold, which flashes the book, one word at a time, up on the screen, at a high rate of speed. It is astonishingly readable, and makes you feel like you’ve found a back-door to your brain’s comprehension nodes. The second is a “PurpleSlurped” version of the book, in which every paragraph is given its own link, so that one can easily refer to a specific passage of the text.

/ / Eastern Standard Tribe, News

Modesty B Catt has created a text-remixer called Cut-n-Paste-Rock-n-Roll that allows you to select from two or more of my novels and Alice in Wonderland, and, at the click of a button, machine-remix the text into a new work. I’m really enjoying this.

“What’s wrong with you?” Art shook his head to the King, looking round the refreshments!’ But there seemed to think that proved it at the end of the way. They let me expense it. I’ll be one of great relief. ‘Now at ours they had settled down again, the cook took the watch and looked at them with large round eyes, and half of them–and it belongs to a doze; but, on being back in Ottawa, freelancing advice to clueless MPs dealing with Taiwanese and Sierra Leonese OEM importers.

Audie’s married to a full-blown conspiracy. Their interests are commercial, industrial, cultural, culinary. A Tribesman will patronize a fellow Tribesman’s restaurant, or give him a reproachful look. “I’m sorry, all right?” he asked.


Paul Boutin

It’s less science fiction, more supercaffeinated extrapolation (“…expialidocious!”) of today’s always-on lifestyle crowd, of which Cory has plenty of firsthand experience. The narrator’s dilemma is spelled out at the start: His friends have committed him to a mental hospital as part of a plot. Except there’s the nagging suspicion he may really be going nuts. As with a Vonnegut novel, it’s the gradual filling in of details over the next 300 pages by an unreliable narrator that makes it an engaging read.

/ / Eastern Standard Tribe, News

My second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe starts shipping today — it should be showing up in bookstores any day now.

As with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, my first novel, I’ve made the whole text of the novel available as a free download in a variety of open, standards-defined formats, under the terms of a Creative Commons license — and I’ve written a short essay explaining why I’ve done it: in a nutshell, this worked really well for my first book, and I’d be crazy not to repeat the experiment with my second novel.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Publishers Weekly

John W. Campbell Award winner Doctorow lives up to the promise of his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003), with this near-future, far-out blast against human duplicity and smothering bureaucracy. Even though it takes a while for the reader to grasp postcyberpunk Art Berry’s dizzying leaps between his “now,” a scathing 2012 urban nuthouse, and his “then,” the slightly earlier events that got him incarcerated there, this short novel’s occasionally bitter, sometimes hilarious and always whackily appealing protagonist consistently skewers those evils of modern culture he holds most pernicious. A born-to-argue misfit like all kids who live online, Art has found peers in cyber space who share his unpopular views-specifically his preference for living on Eastern Standard Time no matter where he happens to live and work. In this unsettling world, e-mails filled with arcane in-jokes bind competitive “tribes” that choose to function in one arbitrary time or another. Swinging from intense highs (his innovative marketing scheme promises to impress his tribe and make him rich) to maudlin lows (isolation in a scarily credible loony bin), Art gradually learns that his girl, Linda, and his friend Fede are up to no good. In the first chapter, Doctorow’s authorial voice calls this book a work of propaganda, a morality play about the fearful choice everybody makes sooner or later between smarts and happiness. He may be more right than we’d like to think.

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I will be signing copies of Eastern Standard Tribe Austin at the SXSW conference, immediately following the Bloggie Award Ceremony on the trade-floor.

March 15, 1:30PM, at the book signing area of the SXSW Interactive Festival Trade Show & Exhibition on the third floor of the Austin Convention Center.

If you’re not a registered attendee at SXSW, you can get a free trade-floor pass here.