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With a Little Help Paperback – March 15, 2011

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With a Little Help + Context + Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456576348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456576349
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow has held policy positions with Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and been a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Southern California. He is a co-editor of the popular weblog BoingBoing (boingboing.net), which receives over three million visitors a month. His science fiction has won numerous awards, and his YA novel LITTLE BROTHER spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
The unabridged version of this review can be viewed here:
[...]

Cory Doctorow is my favorite kind of futurenaut, one who is only a few years ahead of his time. His ideas are easily possible with existing technology, or nearly so. And that is equally wonderful and terrifying.

If you've been following Doctorow on Boingboing, twitter, or his posts on Publishers Weekly, you know he's been experimenting with Self Publishing. Selfpub/epub/newpub is looking more and more to be the way of the future, and what better way to figure out how it all works than to dive in, head first? Alright, maybe not head first, as Doctorow has been publishing his writings under creative commons with everything downloadable on his website for years now.

Some of these stories made me chuckle. Many of them caused my jaw to drop and my eyes to get all big and a thin whisper of "Holy ****" to escape my mouth. All of them made me think. And that, I believe, is the point.

Every entry in With a Little Help is a gem. Here are my thoughts on a few of them:

Epoch - Odell Vyphus is a lowly sysadmin. Maybe not so lowly, as he's in charge of keeping BIGMAC running. The year is 2037 or, and BIGMAC is a burly, 32bit, old school AI with a penchant for Mycroft Holmes and Hal9000 jokes. And he's a dinasour. BIGMAC eats a ton of energy, kicks out too much heat, no one has published a paper on him in years, and grad students are bored with him. Wait, why am I calling BIGMAC a "he"? BIGMAC is a fancy schmancy computer. Definitely an "it", not a "he". Odell also has a bad habit of anthropomorphizing talking computers. And BIGMAC has developed a bad habit of running a killer endgame. How do you kill a computer that doesn't want to die? If it's not alive, are you really killing it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex C. Telander on June 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
By now many people will be familiar with the bestselling co-editor of Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow, after the young adult novel Little Brother, and his great adult book, Makers. Doctorow clearly has a knack for not just being to be able to string a bunch of words together creatively and skillfully, but each and every story is an important "What if?" to tell. Sometimes Doctorow offers dates, sometimes not; but readers can usually guess his stories are set in either the near future or within the next hundred years, involving a possible future that will capture, delight, and sometimes terrify. Doctorow seems to grasp at our idle thoughts of this century and the next, transforming them into a believable possibility that really makes us wonder.

With a Little Help collects thirteen of his short stories that have seen publication in anthologies or magazines or other media over the past few years revealing Doctorow's ability to tell a great, captivating science fiction story not just in long form, but also in short with developed characters you can connect with and a story that will haunt you and stay with you long after you have finished it. Whether it's the Internet, government, politics, or religion, Doctorow seems to have a unique take on it all, presenting a world that we're encroaching upon right now, or will be in the ensuing decades.

The book is also an experiment in itself, only available as a print on demand in printed form, or available free as an ebook, though donations are politely requested through his website. One might think in this day and age of piracy and scouring the Internet for illegal free items, this concept would result in failure, and yet this great collection continues to make money, which Doctorow isn't ashamed to hide with monthly financial reports.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurel on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely if ever buy books at retail. Used bookstores are my friends. I have no need to buy Doctorow books because I always read his public domain versions. Therefore, this is the 4th or 5th book I've bought at retail. He has a feature where libraries and schools can ask for donations, I've done that a few times. Otherwise I think of someone to send one to. I really respect his "putting his money where his mouth is" with his experiments in how to build a just and workable and free publishing system for this real world. I purchased this particular book especially because it is another experiment and I want to put my money there.

About the book. Doctorow is an excellent writer. Excellent in technical skill and craft. He always has interesting plots, good characters, and important, timely information. I get a lot of my now/near future culture grok from him. I love reading his work.

I picked this book out of my phone's library last night because I don't care as much for short stories, and I thought I'd read one or two and get to sleep at a decent time. I think it was about 4am before I forced myself to put it down. And then finished it today. Always interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this as an e-book to have on my phone to read if I ever got caught with nothing to do. I had not expectations, I didn't know the author... I absolutely loved this book! Nearly ever story raised an interesting idea or made an interesting comment on society and the path we are heading down. I just wanted to keep reading and then talk about the stories with my friends.

Yep, really liked it.
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