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Makers Paperback – 8 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007327897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007327898
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 3.9 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Little Brother. He has won the Locus Award for his fiction three times, been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula, and is the only author to have won both the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Campbell Award for best SF Novel of the Year. He is the co-editor of BoingBoing.net, writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online and Locus and has been named one of the internet's top 25 influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cory Doctorow lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Product Description

Review

‘Doctorow's novel fizzes with ideas and jumps with breathtaking speed from one technological breakthrough to another until you're no longer sure what's based on reality and what's purely a figment of his inventive mind … Doctorow's optimism about the technology of the present and the near future is infectious’ Guardian

‘Fresh and full of thought-provoking ideas, a book about tomorrow that demands to be read now.’ The Times

‘A compelling near-future tale … a complex, ideas-led, thought-provoking book … the vivid characters and meticulously crafted future make this a book well worth checking out’ SFX

‘A tour de force … one of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades … bitingly realistic and miraculously avoids cliché or predictability’ Publishers Weekly

‘Doctorow brilliantly shows us a near-future that’s equally wondrous, inspiring and terrifying’ BBC Focus

‘There is plenty in Cory Doctorow’s fifth novel to get technology buffs salivating … interesting and effective’ Metro

‘Prodigiously inventive … intriguing’ Daily Mail

‘Exhilarating and thought-provoking’ Courier Mail (Australia)

‘A gread read’ Good Reading (Australia)

‘Bursting with ideas’ Sydney Morning Herald

Praise for Little Brother:

‘I’d recommend ‘Little Brother’ over pretty much any book I’ve read this year. Because I think it’ll change lives. It’s a wonderful, important book’ Neil Gaiman

‘Cory Doctorow’s novel could hardly be more relevant, scary and eye-opening … seriously entertaining.’ The Times

‘A cracking read’ Guardian

From the Author

1. Makers is concerned with the end of the economy. Can you see the changes that occur in the plot ever coming to pass?
Not as such – this isn’t meant to be predictive so much as allegorical. The kinds of microcapitalized, microprofitable firms in Makers are already here today in the form of millions of web-startups that needed little or no money to get going, and that needed to innovate all the time to stay profitable.

2. Little Brother has won, or been nominated for, several notable awards. Has this changed your writing in any way?
I don't think so! Every book is different, of course, because I’m in different circumstances every time. The book I’m writing now, For the Win, is the first book I wrote as a father, which means that the time to write it has been stolen in smaller, more intense sips than previous books; it’s also the first book I ever set out to research almost from scratch, reading hundreds of books and articles and travelling all over Asia for it. That, too, effected the writing – I feel like these macro-factors change the work more than awards (also, I had previously won and been nominated for many of the same awards!)

3. You have been described as a ‘digital-rights activist’. Do you feel that this comes across in your novels?

Yes, of course. I think sf is best at describing the social changes wrought by technological change; an activist tries to *steer* the social changes wrought by technological change. Describing and steering are closely related activities.

4. One of the things I found most enjoyable about MAKERS was the strong characterisation. Did you have a favourite character to write?
I think I had the most fun with the villain, Freddie, who epitomizes the kind of sleazy, cynical, lazy technologist that frustrates me the most. Getting into his head was a real adventure.

5. What can we expect from you in your next books?

In the twenty-first century, it’s not just capital that’s globalized: labour is, too. The Webblies are a union of ‘gold-farmers’ who labour day and night in video-games, amassing virtual gold that’s sold on to rich players. They fight their bosses, the people who own the games, and the rich speculators who trade in derivatives of game-gold for the right to organize a trade-union. And they do it all under the noses of the ruling elites in China and the rest of Asia by using video-games to outsmart them. For the Win is a book that explains labour politics and macroeconomics for kids, using an army of clever, dedicated, and endangered boys and girls who play video-games to do it. The Webblies fight pitched battles in every flavour of cyberspace, in the ports of Los Angeles, on container ships, in the slums of Mumbai, in the red light district of Singapore, and in South China’s enormous industrial cities. They are so successful that they provoke a worldwide general strike – and incur the wrath of the rich and powerful around the world. Blending near-future speculation with the exuberant gamer underground and the globalized net-culture, this is a book that gives young people the frame to understand economic meltdown, Ponzi schemes, and overheated investment bubbles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg Pye on 29 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
My son gave me this for Christmas. It's a novel set in the near future, focussing mostly on the possible counter-corporate implications of hacking things up with 3D printers (these are the new and rather cool devices that allow you top print 3D objects), along with many other things such as a putative and backfiring solution to obesity in the US, and US squatter camps. Long a staple of sci-fi, replicators that can make anything you need to order are very cool, the dislocations they might bring are large, and I've not read much fiction about them - so I was looking forward to the book, and willing it to be good. I kept willing it to be good all the way through, but in the end it simply wasn't. Worth reading if you have a pretty high appetite for books, but if you only read a one or two books a month then there are far better ones to have on your list.

That's not to say that there weren't good bits. I loved the way the Disney replicators were described, with little mechanical imps doing the assembly - just like you might find in a Terry Pratchett book, and every bit as cool. I liked snatches of the characterizations where people came to grip with what being a leader meant. I loved that he waded into the way that Disney was viewed, and seems to have got himself comfortable with the legal exposure.

But, there the flow of the story was very staccato - with some parts glossed over wildly, and yet still managing to be rather too long. The end especially managed to dystopically peter out - almost like Cory ran out of ideas on plot and simply tried to tie the loose threads off somehow, but guarding against a happy ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Quiverbow TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Down in Florida, Lester and Perry are a couple of platinum rated inventive nerds who make things, sometimes using a 3D printer. Not just any old things. Things that sell for upwards of $10,000 each. Now, their talents have been sucked up by the Kodacell conglomerate (you work it out) to construct weird and wonderful stuff. After the dot com bust, the idea is to have thousands of small co-operatives churning out product for a high return; when others copy the idea and those margins decrease, they move onto the next thing. The scheme sounds workable even in the real world. Unfortunately, when others begin to manufacture their own 3D printers from a 3D printer, everyone ends up trying to sell to everyone else so it all collapses. A bit like pyramid selling.

Some years later, all the individuals meet up once more with the two original nerds now fronting a rollercoaster ride with a nostalgic theme, which has the public queuing round the block. Thing is, they've allowed anyone to copy and build their own version free and that pesky theme park up the road, the one fronted by a mouse, takes exception. Can the little entrepreneur beat a giant international corporation? Most of the characters exude empathy, except one nasty, rat-faced journalist who you want to strangle, and a smarmy executive who you wish would get what he deserves. That is the essence of a good writer.

Some of the inventions Doctorow has thought up could eventually come to fruition; the laser key ring that repeats what you say when shone onto a wall and translates any one of a dozen languages sounds cool, as does the toaster-making robot. In a world of disposable consumerism, something that is used repeatedly would certainly have its market.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Federhirn on 8 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Cory Doctorow writes about the near future. All of his novels are set in a world that is still within the realms of the imaginable. It makes them not always easy to classify - they can seem a bit utopian or dystopian or too futuristic or not futuristic enough... basically, they sit in a genre and class of their own.

Makers is a novel about people who like to be creative and invent stuff. It's about a future where everyone can become a mad inventor, like the one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with minimal resource investment and without understanding all the inner workings of their inventions. Basically, he's extrapolated about 10 years into the future. Maybe less.

The characters in his novel are: Perry and Lester - two "makers", Susanne - a journalist assigned to cover their story, Kettlewell - a visionary business man who merges two old economy industrial behemoths, liquidates all their industrial aspects and turns the new corporation into a venture capital investor for mad inventors, Tjan - a manager brought in to monetise the mad inventions, Freddy - a vicious little journalist, and Sammy - a Disney Parks manager who tries to innovate the park and fight the competition.

But the truth is, the characters are secondary to the ideas. The novel chronicles their actions and lives for a few years, then a skip of a few years, then another few months, with an epilogue set another fifteen years later. But it never feels like a story. Yes, there are conflicts and struggles, but some of them happen off-stage, some are just flamewars on teh interwebs, some are a little forced.
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