Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present

By Cory Doctorow

Rating: 3 stars

This is a short collection of just six stories by Doctorow, including the flash piece Printcrime, about a man with a printer and a dream; the quite excellent I, Row-Boat about a sentient row-boat who follows the creed of Asimovism getting along on a post-Singularity Earth with hardly any humans left; and the moving After the Siege about a city under siege in more ways than one.

I enjoyed most of these stories, but Doctorow’s politics were always present, and some of them could feel a bit preachy. My favourites were I, Row-Boat and Anda’s Game, an examination of MMORPGs and the companies that set up sweatshops in the third world to repeatedly ‘grind’ characters, building them up so they can be sold to Westerners who don’t want to have to play up through the ‘dull’ stuff. That one is probably the most grounded story in the collection, throwing up a lot of issues which are currently having to be dealt with by the online gaming community.

Mostly a fun collection, but only a couple of the stories have the staying power that might make me want to read them again.

Book details

ISBN: 9781560259817
Publisher: Running Press
Year of publication: 2007

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