As with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, my first novel, I’ve made the whole text of the novel available as a free download in a variety of open, standards-defined formats, under the terms of a Creative Commons license — and I’ve written a short essay explaining why I’ve done it: in a nutshell, this worked really well for my first book, and I’d be crazy not to repeat the experiment with my second novel.
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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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