Staff Reviews

Give It Away Now

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The science fiction writer Cory Doctorow co-edits Boing Boing, one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. Each of the appealing characters in Makers (Tor), his new novel about a post-scarcity economy set in a near-future wasteland of strip mall shantytowns and Russian weight loss clinics, is a slice of Doctorow himself, from Suzanne, the journalist turned (wildly profitable) blogger, to Perry, the fanboy magnet, always-on-the-road guru, and keeper of an open source Wunderkammer housed in an abandoned Wal-Mart.

The book's eponymous "makers" are struggling to find new ways to make things rather than money, and Doctorow has followed the ideological line implicit in this novel to its logical conclusion: His publisher is offering the entire book for free, in 81 installments released Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at tor.com.