ReviewsCory Doctorow straps on his miner's helmet and takes you deep into the caverns and underground rivers of Pop Culture, here filtered through SF-coloured glasses. Enjoy.
Neil Gaiman, Author of American Gods and Sandman
One suspects that for Cory Doctorow many of those truths have to do with magnificent trash, with the signposts, landmarks, and psychic Dumpsters of our time. The first story appearing in his collection, â€œCraphound,â€? is a demotic hymn to junk culture, catching just right, in its buddy tale of homeboy scavenger and alien collector, the mix of casual affection, greed, and bafflement our throwaways, the myriad ephemera of our past, can engender. In â€œTo Market, to Market: The Rebranding of Billy Bailey,â€? a story tracking the classic sf trope If this goes on, schoolchildren undergo the sort of corporate sponsorship thatâ€™s now afforded sports figures and that litters our landscape with clever TV spots, fetching magazine ads, and a succession of inescapable logos resembling nothing so much as the diagram outlines of fighter planes passed out to WW2 civilian watchers.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
A Place So Foreign and 8 More is the post-cyberpunk iconoclast's much anticipated first collection, and it starts with a bang.
The Montreal Gazette
A good collection, from a hot new writer.
Peter D. Tillman, SFSite.com
Doctorow embeds exposition in the action and dialogue, making his fiction fun to read--in other words, you don't have to slog through idle descriptions of technology or mythical family trees. When the "robutler" in the title story affixes its "electrode fingertips" to the narrator's temples to "juice" them and clear away his headache, the incident passes so quickly that it doesn't seem too cute or campy. The author's minimalist style is a refreshing change from the meticulous, heavy-handed prose of classic fantasy and SF novels, aptly conveying what it might feel like to have your temples juiced.
[It's] a bracing collection of short stories by a Canadian writer whose influences range from Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker to Donald Barthelme and Roald Dahl.
As knowledgeable about computers as he is about flea markets, Doctorow uses science fiction as a kind of cultural WD-40, loosening hinges and dissolving adhesions to peer into some of society's unlighted corners. His best known story, ''Craphound,'' tells of a competitive friendship between two junk collectors, one human and one alien; what it says about the uses of the past is no more mysterious than the prices paid for a vintage Coke bottle or an early Barbie doll. Not every attempt to wrest truth from cliche works -- but you won't want to miss Doctorow's satiric glance at co-opted dissent among the grade-school set or the insidious horror of his updated Pinocchio tale.
New York Times
I have to say that being a new-comer to Doctorow's work I was hooked from the first page. This is an extremely entertaining, rich, clever, engaging and well-written collection and the stories cover a mixture of topics and characters. In addition is an interesting introduction to each story from Doctorow himself so you can see where he gets his ideas from and how he works. I personally look forward to more from Cory Doctorow and would recommend him to anyone who would like to read something fresh, original, and just that little bit different.
SF Crow's Nest
Achingly funny...by relentlessly exposing disenchanted Silicon Valley dwellers caught in a military-industrial web of khaki money, Congress-critters and babykiller projects, Doctorow explores the intersection of social concern and technology.
Time travel made fresh. Pinocchio made haunting. Even the tangential ideas, incidental word choices and minor sub-stories crackle with creativity. If your nerd quotient is high enough, the last story will blow you away.
Cyberpunk isn't dead. It has just lost some of its more superficial, passÃ© punkishness (the leather jackets and the mirrorshades) and continues to evolve, rather than settling into the wax museum of old trends. The greatest challenge may be generational. Where Gibson and his fellows served as pioneers back in the 20th century, the real world is catching up and this century's cybernauts feel far more at home in the territory. But what IS "home" in a time of accelerating change and strangeness? In his first collection A PLACE SO FOREIGN AND EIGHT MORE, Cory Doctorow pursues that question through the wild twists and turns of past, present and future, equipped with the literary tools to make it matter.
Cory Doctorow is one of our best new writers: smart, daring, savvy, entertaining, ambitious, plugged-in, and as good a guide to the wired world of the twenty-first century that stretches out before us as you’re going to find.
Editor, Asimov’s SF