Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Cory Doctorow, a fellow Clarion East '92 grad, has a new novel out: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. It's a departure from his previous work--and pretty hard to describe. You've got a woman with wings that grow back every time she tries to cut them off. You've got a main character whose mother is a washing machine and whose father is a mountain. I'm reading it right now with a kind of dual fascination at the unforced strangeness of it (in the best sense) and wondering how it's all going to resolve itself. In any event, it's compelling reading, with a nice pace, and I'm looking forward to finishing it.

Cory's recently taught at Clarion East, had a story taken for Best American Short Stories, somehow finds time between writing novels and stories to help run Boing Boing (a site I turn to every day), and currently lives in London. He, like Kelly Link, was kind enough to find the time to answer the infamous five questions before he left for WorldCon last week.



Why should readers pick up your book as opposed to, say, just about anybody else's book?
Like the Marines say, "There are many books like it, but this one is mine." You should pick up mine because I worked my guts out on it, because Gene Wolfe raved about it, and because you can download the whole thing gratis from the Internet before deciding whether to buy it.

Does your book have any socially redeeming qualities? If so, what are they?
My book will teach you all about the finer points of the burgeoning debate on spectrum allocation. It will teach you how to trim your wings with a hunting knife. It will teach you about the hidden messages in the Dewey Decimal system.

Does your book have any medicinal or mental health value to readers?
My book can be used to kill germ-bearing flies and mosquitoes.

Assume your book has been filed under "Ages 8 to 12" in the children's section, perhaps by mistake, perhaps not. How horrified do you imagine a child would be after reading your book, and why? How many years of therapy would the child take to recover from the experience?
The child will be fine--except for the murder scenes, maybe, but they're no grosser than Piggy's staking in Lord of the Flies. Her parents may be a little squicked out about the sex, though.

If no one buys your book and you are unable to continue publishing your fiction due to the intense vilification that occurs in the media, what line of work will you go into?
I will become an activist for digital civil liberties, traveling the world giving speeches, scrounging WiFi, writing angry white-papers and crashing UN meetings. Incidentally, that is my present day job.


At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this book a while back and it is excellent.


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