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Cory Doctorow is in Seattle to promote his new novel Little Brother, and thanks to Leslie Howle and Eileen Gunn, Lisa and I got to hang out with him for a bit over the weekend. It was a good time. Cory and I share quite a number of interests, some of which I knew about (SF, copyright law, privacy and security issues, Internet trivia and significa), and some of which I didn't but could have guessed at (horribly impractical designer Japanese watches, MMORPGs, baroque baby-naming schemes*).

We tagged along to Cory's reading at the Ballard Public Library (N.B., he's got one more Seattle-area appearance, 7 PM tonight at the Ravenna Third Place Books, and if you've been thinking of going you really should, as he puts on a great show). Afterwards, with a little encouragement from Lisa, I introduced myself to Suzanne Perry, the events coordinator from Secret Garden Books who'd helped arrange Cory's appearance, and mentioned that (a) I'm now a Ballard local and (b) the paperback of Bad Monkeys is due out in August. The upshot of which is, I'll probably be appearing at the Ballard Public Library myself sometime this summer.

In the meantime, I've already finished Little Brother (more about that later) and am trying to decide which Doctorow book to try next. Suggestions welcome.

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*One minor discussion thread at Leslie Howle's place was about naming a kid with an eye towards frustrating data collectors, e.g., choosing a name that would function as a command string if transmitted via modem. (Cory noted parenthetically that this particular e.g. was less cool now that modems were disappearing, which leads naturally to the Matt Ruff twist on the idea -- saddling some poor child with a defunct command-string name that, because of its uniqueness, makes them much easier to identify and track.)

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
bondgwendabond
May. 20th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
I really, really liked Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town.
morbid_o
May. 22nd, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
That was my intro to Doctorow, too. Great book.
citycrystal
May. 23rd, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
agreed.
(Anonymous)
May. 20th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Kid names....
Not to sound like an awful fanboy sort of person, but I actually named one of my kids after a character in Fool on the Hill (Aurora Borealis Smith), and recently (and not deliberately) after ANOTHER character in the same book- Calliope (Lilou) Smith.

I've been told that both names are cruel and unusual punishment for my daughters, but I don't care. :)

Kel
http://www.kellyfowler.com/blog/
ironymaiden
May. 20th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
someone is coming to take my geek card any moment now
i've read a few Cory Doctrow books. the reason i have read more than one is because he has very cool ideas. i have stopped trying to read more because i consistently have no interest in his characters, and the older i get the less tolerance i have for didactic entertainment. that said, i think a pick for you would be Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. i was glad to have read it before our trip to Florida.

on the naming front, there's still Bobby Tables.
larrymac
May. 20th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
This XKCD comic meshes well with your baby naming idea ...
nolly
May. 20th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Down and Out is probably the most accessible; you'll probably like Someone Comes to Town too, but it's definitely weird. I didn't care much for Eastern Standard Tribe, but YMMV. His short stories are also really good.
gfish
May. 20th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm far more impressed by his short stories than his novels. Down and Out had some interesting ideas, at least...
jack_ryder
May. 20th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I always wanted to name our kid ctrl-alt-del but an IT friend pointed out that the best approach was to give the kid a name from a language that wasn't incorporated into Unicode - he suggested Bulgarian.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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