John Clute’s smashing review of For the Win in the latest Strange Horizons compares the book (and me) to Heinlein in his heyday. Color me delighted!
There are a lot of MMORPG battles in the first half of the book, and a lot of lessons—much more interesting —about gameworld economies, and gold farming, and derivatives, in the second. The climax of the tale is double: an at times kinetically arousing narrative of the joining of the oppressed of the world and gameworlds in worldwide strike actions; and a neat narrative—infodumps hanging into the page whenever necessary — explaining how the greedy corporations of the world have been lured into a ponzi scheme engineered by members of our extremely clever crew, and how these corporations are forced into a humiliating climb-down at the very end: in the line of SF created by Heinlein, proper mousetraps trap proper mice: period.
Doctorow doesn’t write a bad sentence; he doesn’t even ever write a sentence you have to read twice. You can feel story pounding through the arteries of For the Win