Saturday, February 4, 2012

for the win by cory doctorow


I read FTW, along with my sci-fi book club, just after listening to Mr. Daisey and The Apple Factory, observing the impact of the floods on factories in my new home base of Thailand, and in general spending a good deal of time thinking about technology and its impact on the universe, so it's no surprise that I found myself cheering for the underdogs in superhero Cory Doctorow's latest YA novel. Mala, a 15 year-old kick-ass gamer in India (aka "General Robotwalla), leads a group of village kids working in an online gaming sweatshop, winning virtual treasure in MMORPGs, which is then sold by a local overlord to wealthy gamers willing to pay real world money for a quick pass to higher level game play. Matthew is in Shenzen, and has started up his own rebel group of gold-farmers, cutting out his evil boss. Leonard (who calls himself Wei-Dong), is light years away in Orange County, but spends his time fighting alongside his brothers and sisters in China. Beautiful brilliant night-time broadcaster Big Sister Nor brings them all together in an epic and unforgettable fight against the system that holds them all prisoner. A call-to-arms for our times. A manifesto. Not to be missed. Give this to fans of Little Brother X and Ender's Game who are ready for the next level (pun intended). Listen to Sir Doctorow discuss the book here. Grade 9+