The fall edition of Currents in Electronic Literacy contains a tremendous scholarly essay on Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Eric Mason, called "Remediating the Magic Kingdom: Notes Toward a Poetics of Technology."
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Compare Down and Out with We Can Build You, not only because both deal with animatronic presidents, but also because both provoke questions about what makes feelings “real,” about manipulation and coercion of assent, about what makes a life meaningful. You will see, I think, that Dick’s brooding brilliance does not overshadow Doctorow’s truer gift for narrative and composition; where Dick got there first, Doctorow makes more of the elements, more satisfactorily.
Paperback ISBN: 076530953X