Cory Doctorow is an avid Weblogger (he can be found at, and his novel’s ad-hocracies of ”twittering Pollyannic castmembers” who smoke ”decaf” crack and congratulate one another on ”Bitchun” ideas offer a knowing, gently satiric view of a once ascendant digital culture. And the impressively imagined world of the novel is tricked out in lively prose. In one particularly amusing section, Julius recalls an ex-wife from space named Zed: ”We met in orbit, where I’d gone to experience the famed low-gravity sybarites. Getting staggering drunk is not much fun at one gee, but at ten to the neg eight, it’s a blast. You don’t stagger, you bounce, and when you’re bouncing in a sphere full of other bouncing, happy, boisterous naked people, things get deeply fun.” Though she’s around for only a few pages, Zed is one of Doctorow’s best inventions, a ”transhuman . . . with a bewildering array of third-party enhancements: a vestigial tail, eyes that saw through most of the R.F. spectrum, her arms, her fur, dogleg reversible knee joints and a completely mechanical spine.” Julius can’t keep Zed’s interest, and their relationship ends on a sad note — she reverts to a backed-up version of her brain from the time before they met.

Taylor Antrim,
New York Times