Midwest Book Review
Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.” The world ended not with a bang but with
a wumpus; as everyone wanted control of technological change leading to
the Mecha Wars. In Detroit, Jimmy Yensid, his dad Robin and the pack
reside in abandoned Comerica Park. Dad restored the classic Carousel of
Progress; currently he recommends preservation of this last standing
city as a heritage site. Being transhuman Jimmy ages slowly so though he
has lived for decades he remains preadolescent. He spots a wumpus near a
crumpled Ford factory. Riding his dad’s mecha and accompanied by his
canines packs piloting air drones, he attacks the wumpus. A gang riding
eight smaller mechas attacks Jimmy. He fights back feeling like a
murderer as life in abandoned Detroit is never dull.
“Creativity vs. Copyright.” This fascinating essay/presentation focuses on proposed copyright laws in the electronic publication age. The impact on corporate profits has been discussed many times. Mr. Doctorow provides a fresh focus on the digital rights management (including monetary – how an author makes a living from Net sales is beyond my comprehension) of intellectual property in a world in which many users assume “information is free.”
The thought provoking novella is a dark thriller that turns upside down the “future” as progress does not necessarily mean better. The exciting storyline looks deeply at change as everyone insists implementation of theirs; and customized technology may just lead to a wasteland. The well written essay/presentation provides the audience with insight into Mr. Doctorow’s views especially on intellectual property ownership in an on demand digital world. Finally there is also included “Look for the Lake” Cory Doctorow Interviewed by Terry Bisson.