The Super Man and the Bugout

Originally published in On Spec, Fall 2001

“It is certainly worth noting that the story in this issue which flagrantly violates the length limit, Cory Doctorow’s ‘The Super Man and the Bugout,’ at close to 10,000 words, is also by far the best story… The story is both very funny, and a portrayal of a quite believable non-human human being.”

– Rich Horton,
Tangent Online

Download the plain text version from Cory_Doctorow_-_The_Super_Man_and_Bugout.txt.

Paste in links to your own versions below.

14 Responses to “The Super Man and the Bugout”

  1. Here’s this story’s intro from the book:

    I was a Red-Diaper Baby. My parents were and are Trotskyists, and I grew up in “The Movement.” When they told me, at the age of five, that I was going to march in my aunt’s wedding I reportedly leapt to my feet and started picketing the living-room, carrying an imaginary placard, chanting “Not the Church and not the State/Women must control their fate!”

    Movement politics–the intersection of a commitment to justice and all the human follies of power-hunger, avarice, jealousy and pride–are a fascinating source of personal drama and tension.

    I started out wanting to write a story about a Jewish Super Man, someone truer to Supe’s roots. Siegel and Shuster, Superman’s creators, were both Jewish, both from Toronto. I started noodling with the idea of the Super Man being raised in the Gaza Strip, the Jewish stretch of Bathurst Street in Toronto where my father and mother were raised.

    I found myself wondering about a Super Man raised in the Canadian tradition of “Peace, Order and Good Government” instead of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and came around to a kind of leftie Super Man, a Canadian Super Man, balanced on the see-saw of Judiac guilt and intellectualism and the invincibility of a Super Man.

    A Super Man is tough to write about. He’s immortal, he’s impervious, he’s nigh-omnipotent. How do you create dramatic tension about such a person? What danger can he be in? The Super Man cries out for a more-powerful being to pour the heat on. Who better to out-super the Super Man than the Bugouts?

  2. Jeremy Keith says:

    The PDF above is very, very simple and not much different to the original text version (no conversion of quotes, emphasis, etc.). All I’ve done is change the typeface to 12 point Helvetica.

    The width is still fixed at 80 characters.

    I’m sure somebody else will put together some more sophisticated PDFs. This was just a quick fix done using the “Save as pdf” print option under OS X.

  3. Thomas Scott says:

    I’ve converted all the available stories into Palm Reader format, suitable for one-click loading onto a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC (as well as looking rather nice using the Palm Reader for Windows and Macs.)

    The Palm Reader file’s available from here.

  4. I’ve got another Palm Reader version of this story, available here.

  5. Plucker is an open source compressed HTML format for Palm and
    other handheld computers. The reader is available from
    and the converted story is at

  6. HTML versions of all stories can be found here. Converted with txt2html. The width is not fixed to 80 characters.

  7. fanat says:

    Excuse, Grant Henninger, but there 404, or it only at me?

  8. TimChoong says:

    I have the same problem… for all of Grant’s links.

  9. jonnyflash says:

    I converted this to mobipocket’s prc format, that can be used in many readers, including the Amazon Kindle.


  10. forex says:

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