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Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
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The prophetic debut novel from the visionary author fo LITTLE BROTHER, now published for the first time in the UK. Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies ... and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now overseen by a network of `ad hocs' who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.But the ad hocs are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.Worse: it appears that this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival after all.) Now it's war.
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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.

Reviews

A young man barely 100 years old, Jules is working at his dream job, running the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World (along with a bureaucracy of hundreds) when he is killed for the fourth time. He suspects a competing group at Disney that has designs on the Hall of Presidents. With the help of two friends, Jules fights the impending coup but struggles more with his relationships in an era when people routinely store their memories for centuries to avoid boredom or unpleasantness. Doctorow has created a fun, breezy read that belies the darker apects of a world without money, illness, or death. Much near-future sf suggests that technology will ruin our lives; Doctorow adds a little Disney cheer to his dystopian vision. Doctorow won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and coedits the popular Boing Boing weblog, which may translate into demand. A good purchase for all sf collections.-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Praise for DOWN AND OUT IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM: `Impressively imagined' New York Times `Cory Doctorow doesn't just write about the future - I think he lives there.' Kelly Link `A kinetic, immersive yarn ... wholly entertaining' The Onion AV Club `He sparkles! He fizzes! He does backflips and breaks the furniture! Science Fiction needs Cory Doctorow.' Bruce Sterling Praise for Cory Doctorow: `Fresh and full of thought-provoking ideas, a book about tomorrow that demands to be read now.' The Times `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 `A glorious book unlike any book you've ever read' Gene Wolfe `A cracking read' Guardian `Doctorow brilliantly shows us a near-future that's equally wondrous, inspiring and terrifying' BBC Focus

A lot of ideas are packed into this short novel, but Doctorow's own best idea was setting his story in Disney World, where it's hard to tell whether technology serves dreams or vice versa. Jules, a relative youngster at more than a century old, is a contented citizen of the Bitchun Society that has filled Earth and near-space since shortage and death were overcome. People are free to do whatever they wish, since the only wealth is respect and since constant internal interface lets all monitor exactly how successful they are at being liked. What Jules wants to do is move to Disney World, join the ad-hoc crew that runs the park and fine-tune the Haunted Mansion ride to make it even more wonderful. When his prudently stored consciousness abruptly awakens in a cloned body, he learns that he was murdered; evidently he's in the way of somebody else's dreams. Jules first suspects, then becomes viciously obsessed by, the innovative group that has turned the Hall of Presidents into a virtual experience. In the conflict that follows, he loses his lover, his job, his respect-even his interface connection-but gains perspective that the other Bitchun citizens lack. Jules's narrative unfolds so smoothly that readers may forget that all this raging passion is over amusement park rides. Then they can ask what that shows about the novel's supposedly mature, liberated characters. Doctorow has served up a nicely understated dish: meringue laced with caffeine. (Feb. 14) Forecast: A blurb from Bruce Sterling, plus the author's connections in the cyber world (he co-founded the Internet search-engine company OpenCola.com), should give this one a lift. Doctorow was the winner of the 2000 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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