My novel deals with a group of people setting about to "unwire" Toronto by deploying free WiFi networks across the city. Wireless Toronto is just such a group in real life, and they've just launched their website. Truth is stranger than fiction!
The Book Standard has a great article on the use of Creative Commons licenses for electronic distribution of commercial print books, and the growing schism between the kinds of publishers and authors who complain about Google and Amazon's services for searching the whole text of books and the kinds of publishers and writers who celebrate it.
On July 24, I'll be appearing in the online world Second Life to do a book signing/launch for my new novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. The Second Lifers have been conducting a contest to see who can come up with the coolest in-game programmed book-object to decant the novel into, and they've picked a winner:
"It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being--or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge."
I'm doing three signings for Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town in the first two weeks of July. The first two are in the Detroit region (I'm spending July 4 week in East Lansing, Michigan teaching at the Clarion Writers' Workshop), and the third is in Toronto, at BakkaPhoenix books, the oldest sf bookstore in the country, where I once worked. I hope to see you at these!
July 5, 7PM:
July 7, 7:30PM:
July 11, 7PM:
This is my third novel, and as with my first, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and my second, Eastern Standard Tribe, I am releasing it for free download on the Internet the very same day that it ships to the stores. The books are governed by Creative Commons licenses that permit their unlimited noncommercial redistribution, which means that you're welcome to share them with anyone you think will want to see them. In the words of Woody Guthrie:
Why do I do this? There are three reasons:
When I lived in San Francisco, I was just down the street from the amazing Borderlands Books, who would take orders for my books with inscriptions. I'd stop in a couple times a week and sign the special orders and they'd ship 'em out. Since moving to London, though, this deal has been a little harder to pull off -- a 9,000 mile commute to the shop makes this not very practical.
However, I've got the next-best thing: a bookstore in Canada and a store in the UK that are taking special orders for my books with signature and inscription requests, who will ship them out once they're signed. I'm doing the Toronto signing on July 11 and I'll be meeting up with the UK seller in late July. Place your orders before then if you want signed copies!
I'm doing a book-launch at Toronto's BakkaPhoenix on July 11, and the good folks there have graciously agreed to take orders for signed and inscribed copies of any or all of my books. Simply contact them before the 11th of July with your order and I'll sign it when I swing by the store -- they'll ship out the signed articles shortly thereafter.
Here are the shipping rates:
All shipping rates in $CDN and do not include the cost of the books:
Canada: 1 book $8, 2 books $10, 3 books $12
For larger orders, or destinations not listed, please email them directly.
Here's all the contact info:
For Europeans -- or those who are too late to order with Bakka -- your best bet is Iain Emsley's Aust Gate, in Oxford. Ian's offering free second-class shipping in the UK, and very reasonable rates to the rest of the world:
UK - First class: £2.00
The Aust Gate
That's why it was such an honor to have my novel chosen to launch the SciFi Channel's new book club, Sci Fi Essentials. SciFi specifically asked for my book to lead the program with, and we delayed it from March to July to line up with the program's launch. Sci Fi will be promoting the book across its media properties, including the Web site and the magazine.
Thanks, Sci Fi -- and welcome new readers!
Fantasy trappings notwithstanding, Someone is Doctorow’s most realist novel to date, both his most linear and most peculiar. Its pleasures derive not despite the logical jump-cuts and defiant tangents, but because of them.
John Burns, Georgia Straight