Taking a break from inhaling Cordwainer Smith’s short linked-story collection Lords of Space, I gobbled down Cory Doctorow’s Eastern Standard Tribe.
All I can say is, damn! It was a short book — Doctorow’s writing the kind of novel that I like to see, the kind of thing I (a slowish reader) can read in a single day — but it was packed with fun stuff. It had a couple of different timelines, and some cool, believable tech for the time, given a slow-crescendo of technological change. I appreciated that. It was good fun and made no bones about the fact that a lot of the issues involved in it are really issues tied directly to Doctorow’s preoccupations with tech and freedom in the present. And am I the only one who saw the link between Trusted Computing and Art’s life in the nuthouse? I hope not.
Great, quick read. Not too serious — which coming from me verges on a criticism, since I like seriousness, at least a little — but it was a fun romp and damn it all but his notion of Time Zone Tribes almost renders my notion of a kind of industrial cold war between different post-political alliance groups “done, and better”. Almost. I may still try to make it work. We’ll see. But he did do it well, enviably well.
Oh yeah, one more thing, for the Canadians out there: he’s coediting the next edition of Tesseracts, which is number 11, and looking for good fiction.