Eric writes, on his blog, that he's found himself recommending people for jobs whom he's only "met" by reading their blogs. He describes the process as a burgeoning tribal affiliation, enabled by the 'Net.
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The power of Eastern Standard Tribe draws on traditional storytelling elements — tight plotting, sharp characterization and keen thematic treatment. The novel is immediately accessible, the near-future setting all too familiar. Despite the shifting between chronologies and tenses (first- to third-person throughout), Doctorow maintains an unrelenting pace; many readers will find themselves finishing the novel, as I did, in a single sitting.