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Coming to Chicago (then Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Raleigh and NYC!)


Hey, Chicagoans! I'm headed your way this week for the kick-off of the tour for my new young adult novel, For the Win. I'll be at Anderson's Books in Naperville on Weds, May 12 at 7PM and at the Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center on Thurs, May 13 at 5PM.

My next city is Portland, OR, where I'll be at the Powell's Location in Beaverton on May 15. From there, I head to San Francisco (EFF benefit!), Austin, Raleigh and NYC. Hope I get a chance to see you!

Full tour schedule

Free copies of FOR THE WIN for teachers, librarians, youth workers, and others


Are you a teacher, librarian, youth worker, or someone else who could use a copy of my new young adult novel FOR THE WIN?

As I've done with my previous three books, I've set up a matchmaking service for people who need copies of my books and people who want to buy copies of my printed books as a way of paying me back for the free, downloadable versions I make available on my site.

If you work at an institution that could use a free copy, please send your details to freeftwbook@gmail.com. The book launches tomorrow, and the website and free ebook editions direct potential donors to the list of institutions that need copies. Previous donation programs have resulted in hundreds of hardcovers being donated to worthy institutions by generous readers.

Please pass the word!

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation

My “For the Win” book-tour: ORD, SEA, AUS, PDX, SFO, RDU, NYC, YYZ!

Monday morning (volcano permitting!), I fly to the US for a tour to promote my latest book, the YA novel For the Win. I'll be making stops in Chicago, Seattle, Portland OR, San Francisco/Palo Alto, Austin, Raleigh/Chapel Hill, New York and Toronto. Tor books has just put the schedule online -- I hope to see you!

And yes, the book will be available as a free download, just as soon as I touch down in Chicago and get the site online. I'm also going to pop in at Forbidden Planet London this weekend and sign their stock before I go.


In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

Teachers’ Guide

Tor has put together a teachers' guide for FOR THE WIN, Q&A and supplementary material to make it easy to put together lesson-plans based on the book. It covers issues related to economics, justice, gaming, and global culture.

The China-zation of gold farming

Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft followed up last week's interview about my upcoming novel FOR THE WIN with this piece on the China-zation of gold farming:

According to Doctorow, gold farming is viewed as somewhat of a get rich quick scheme. The idea of getting ten gamers in a room and having them play through some MMO gives the illusion of fast and easy cash. A lot of these fly-by-night, start-up gold farms don't make it as business acumen and an expansive network (see above) is needed to make the enterprise work. Doctorow notes that in 2008, many gold farms were being set up in rural parts of China, because all that is needed are computers and an internet connection.

One reason online game companies have players play on different servers is to cutdown on things like gold farming; however, Doctorow points out that game companies, in a way, do need gold farming. Over time the game gets harder and harder in order to challenge experienced players. The example Doctorow gives is that, say, a wife has been playing a game for two years. Her noob husband wouldn't be able to play with her per se.

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