Neil Gaiman on Little Brother

Neil Gaiman gave me an unexpected Christmas present this year -- a stellar review of my forthcoming (May '08) novel Little Brother (a YA novel that pits hacker kids in San Francisco against the DHS in a bid to restore the Bill of Rights to America) on his blog. He has a few quibbles with some of the plot elements, but closes with this:
I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year, and I'd want to get it into the hands of as many smart 13 year olds, male and female, as I can.

Because I think it'll change lives. Because some kids, maybe just a few, won't be the same after they've read it. Maybe they'll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it'll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they'll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they'll want to open their computer and see what's in there. I don't know. It made me want to be 13 again right now and reading it for the first time, and then go out and make the world better or stranger or odder. It's a wonderful, important book, in a way that renders its flaws pretty much meaningless.


See also:
Cory's Little Brother reading
Holy crap, I love the cover of my next book!

Update: One of my writing students from this year's Viable Paradise workshop has a hell of a review of the book up, too.

Update 2: Here's Tim O'Reilly on the subject -- w00t!


  1. Steven Levy’s “Hackers” had that effect on my own childhood, as he describes.

    Can’t wait to check that out. :)

  2. As much as I like the Doc’s stuff, I fear reading anything that might have the power to make me want to be 13 again. What a horror that would be! Of course, being 13 with access to a world of porn might not be so bad.


  3. I wouldn’t mind being thirteen again–I’d invest my allowance in Apple stock, so that I could be a lazy bastard now. I think I’d want to be the opposite gender, though, so I could see what puberty is like from that side.

  4. I am looking forward to this book. I have already ordered two copies from Amazon. I work at a group home (half-way house) in San Francisco for teenage boys coming out of Juvenile Hall. One of the copies will go on the shelf at the group home for the boys to find. Many of them do like to read… from time to time.

  5. Will the text for this be available online? After paying actual money for Eastern Standard Tribe, I’d definitely want to try before I buy.

  6. C.D. Can I ask what your favorite Y.A. novel is/was? I think mine might have been Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars. Maybe it’s not my favorite, but the first book that made me cry, so I just remember it well.


  7. Jeff, I have a zillion favorites, naturally. But Daniel Pinkwater’s Alan Mendolsohn, the Boy from Mars, is very near the top of the stack.

  8. Interesting. I think that book was one of my early introductions to occultism. Gosh, I’d forgotten about that one until now. Thanks.

  9. I was lucky enough to read a proof of Little Brother and I could only describe it as incendiary — in the best possible way. It rocks hard!

  10. I had high hopes for Little Brother after hearing Cory read the first chapter at a convention, but it exceeded my expectations. I just finished the advanced reading copy I won in the icommons auction, and it was worth every penny. I feel pretty safe in saying it’s the best book I’ll read this year. It’s a gripping story about likable characters being pushed hard and pushing back smartly.

    But I’m over 25 so don’t trust me, read it for yourself when it comes out in May. I’ll be buying extra copies then to give to friends so they can pass them along to others.

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