A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy.
It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.
Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net.
In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal.
Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.
The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.
For the Win, published in May 2010 by Tor (US) and HarperVoyager (UK) is my second young adult novel: a game about workers who toil in virtual sweatshops, “gold farming” wealth in video games for sale to rich western players. They form a trade union called the Industrial Workers of the World Wide Web, using the games to organize under their bosses’ noses. It’s an action-adventure story about games, economics and labor politics.
Makers, published in October 2009 by Tor (US) and HarperVoyager (UK) is about people who hack hardware, business-models, and living arrangements to discover ways of staying alive and happy even when the economy is falling down the toilet. Weirdly, I wrote it years before the current econopocalypse, as a parable about the amazing blossoming of creativity and energy that I saw in Silicon Valley after the dotcom crash, after all the money dried up.
Little Brother is my first young adult novel, a story about hacker kids in San Francisco who use technology to reclaim democracy from the Department of Homeland Security after a terrorist attack and the concomitant crackdown. It was published by Tor Books on April 29, 2008.
My second short story collection is Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, from Thunder’s Mouth Press. It contains six of my favorite, net-centric tales: Printcrime, When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, Anda’s Game, I, Robot, I, Row-Boat, and After the Siege.
See the Overclocked section for full downloadable texts of all these stories!
Slovakian fan-translation by Pavol Hvizdos.
My third novel was “Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town,” a contemporary fantasy about wireless networking, revenge, and secrets. The book came out on July 1 from Tor, and as with my previous books, I’ve released it online simultaneous with the print release, under a Creative Commons license. What’s more, I’ve released it under a Creative Commons Developing Nations license, allowing for even more flexibility for residents of developing nations.
Fan translation into Slovakian (Pavol Hvizdos)
Eastern Standard Tribe was published in March 2004. In the short time since, many of the elements of the story have started to come true. The book concerns itself with the conspiracies of management consultants around the world who form secret allegiences on the basis of the timezones that they choose to sleep in — everyone who keeps New York time all over the world ends up all pallsy-wallsy and savages those degenerates on Pacific time.
The whole text of the novel is available as a free download in a multitude of formats, as well as a physical object at bookstores everywhere.
This is not technically a novel, but rather a collection of my short fiction. This book won the 2004 Starbust Award for Best Canadian Science Fiction Book, and sports a kick-ass introduction by cyperpunk legend Bruce Sterling. Many of the stories in this have won or been nominated for prestigious awards, including the Nebula and Sturgeon awards.
Six of the nine stories are available as a free download in a multitude of formats, as well as a physical object at bookstores everywhere.
Audio edition courtesy of Podiobooks.