200 free copies of my next novel, Little Brother, for high-school newspaper reviewers

My next novel, Little Brother, is coming out in about six weeks, on April 29. It's a book for young adults, about freedom, surveillance, and how technology can be used to free you or to lock you up. It's about a gang of hacker/gamer kids in San Francisco who use technology to restore freedom to America, despite the damndest efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to take it away in the name of fighting terrorism.

Since this book is intended for high-school-age kids, my publisher has agreed to send 200 advance review copies of the book to school newspaper reviewers, along with the same press-kit that gets sent to "real" papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post (actually, the school kit has even more stuff -- it also includes a signed personal letter explaining why I wrote this book and why I hope kids will read it).

If you edit or write for your school paper (or if you have kids or friends that do) and you're interested in receiving a copy, send an email to torpublicity@tor.com with the subject line "DON’T TRUST ANYONE OVER 25" -- and include your contact info, high school/newspaper, and mailing address.

Here are some nice things that other preview readers have had to say about Little Brother:

"A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion, as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane."
- Scott Westerfeld, author of UGLIES and EXTRAS
"I can talk about Little Brother in terms of its bravura political speculation or its brilliant uses of technology -- each of which make this book a must-read -- but, at the end of it all, I'm haunted by the universality of Marcus's rite-of-passage and struggle, an experience any teen today is going to grasp: the moment when you choose what your life will mean and how to achieve it."
- Steven C Gould, author of JUMPER and REFLEX
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 teenagers, 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.

-Neil Gaiman, author of ANASI BOYS

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  1. I actually like Neil Gaiman’s full blurb a lot more.
    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/12/changing-planes.html

    He does sum up Cory quite nicely

    “…Cory is one of the Explainers. The people who see what’s going on, or what they perceive to be going on, and then turn around and tell everyone else, and once you’ve heard it their way you can’t ever see it the old way again.”

  2. I really like the idea of a novel about people using technology to fight back against “big brotherish” intrusion.

    The rag tag group of kids outsmarting the adults is a rather annoying cliche though. But I guess kids outsmarting adults is almost a requirement for a book aimed at that target age.

  3. This is an awesome idea Cory! I write for my school’s Literary Magazine, and this’ll be a great way to introduce other’s in my age bracket to the idea that a desire for privacy does not imply guilt. I’m glad to see an effort to educate my generation about the other side of a big-brother society.

  4. “The rag tag group of kids outsmarting the adults is a rather annoying cliche though.”

    Kids have been outsmarting adults for ages. I did it to my parents, I am guessing you did it to yours.

    taf

  5. Turned 25 a decade ago…but I now teach in a middle school, where a few overachievers and avid readers could probably handle this book well…and we all could benefit from the ideas.

    Is the book appropriate for the 13-14 year old set? Would hate to recommend it and then get fired for promoting inappropriate content.

  6. Gah! My high school doesn’t have a newspaper. Little Brother sounds interesting though, I will have to be sure to check it out at the book store when it comes out. Thank you Mr. Neil Gaiman

    (I guess it doesn’t help I am in college now anyway :- )

  7. Ack! I mean Mr. Scott Westerfeld

    (I saw the name at the end, which only ended up being a different author.)

  8. OK, I don’t know what’s in me today, and I just created this account too. I read the wrong name on the book picture now. I apologize Mr. Cory Doctorow. I apologize, and I will definitely buy the book now.

    (I am going to bed, maybe I am just too tired, sorry everyone for the spam.)

  9. Is the book appropriate for the 13-14 year old set? Would hate to recommend it and then get fired for promoting inappropriate content.

    The sample chapter that Cory read on his podcast a while back contained extremely spicy food, an illegal concert organized by hackers, a young couple making out, government supression, and fleeing from police. So it depends on what part of the country you’re in.

  10. what an absurd concern. I read highly inappropriate material at a very young age and look at me!

  11. @12: Thanks, Jardine. Though my part of the country is relatively liberal, public school systems are generally not, univerally. When it comes to making teacher lives hell, all it takes is one parent complaint, and I’ve yet to meet a town where that one parent doesn’t live.

    If that’s the sample, it’s something kids should find on their own. (I’m intrigued, though: in what part of the world does spicy food scare people?)

    Looks like I’ll have to resort to my old standby for putting subversive books in their hands: buy a copy and donate it to the library anonymously. Good thing I share a desk/workstation/brain with the librarian. :-)

  12. “DON’T TRUST ANYONE OVER 25”

    Man, I’m so far past 30 I don’t know if I trust myself to laugh at that one.

    Seriously, I wish I could write a story on that subject … and since I can’t, I’m sure there’s someone who can that’ll do it right.

    I’ll be buying the paperback – and passing it along.

  13. Oops (sure wish there was some way to edit posted posts): that was supposed to be “sure -glad- there’s someone.

    I hate it when one skipped word flips the compliment.

  14. Cory, awesome job.

    Giving books to schools is a fantastic thing to do. (I donated 100 copies of Noam Chomsky’s work to various schools)

    I love the fact that the subject is “subversive” too.

  15. If that’s the sample, it’s something kids should find on their own. (I’m intrigued, though: in what part of the world does spicy food scare people?)

    It scares me just thinking of the burning ring of fire that would result. It’s been a little bit since I heard it, but I believe the spice used was described as diluted pepper spray. I wouldn’t put it past some kid to buy some, spray it on someone else’s food, the person chokes to death, the kid gets caught, and the kid blames Little Brother and the teacher who recommended the book.

    Wow. I really do have a demented mind to think up that scenario.

  16. I just finished Someone Comes To Town.. as my introduction to Cory (I knew him as a blogger first, author second and for some reason wanted to keep it that way), and was happily surprised. You are a super strange fellow, Cory, but it couldn’t be any other way. I have no doubt that your quirky writing will have an easy time swirling into and around the minds of the younger generations. KUDOS for this act of generosity posted here.

  17. the American Library Association (yes, those commies)

    The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2006” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

    * “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
    * “Gossip Girls” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
    * “Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
    * “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
    * “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
    * “Scary Stories” series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
    * “Athletic Shorts” by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;
    * “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
    * “Beloved” by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group; and
    * “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.

    Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

  18. I just went and sent in my email; I’m a senior and the photography editor for our newspaper, hope we’re able to get a copy the plot is very interesting

  19. This is late, and I just received a confirmation email! I’ll be reviewing the book for my school paper.

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