Content: my first-ever collection of essays

Today, Tachyon Books and I are launching my latest book, Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future, my very first collection of essays. In it are 28 essays about everything from copyright and DRM to the layout of phone-keypads, the fallacy of the semantic web, the nature of futurism, the necessity of privacy in a digital world, the reason to love Wikipedia, the miracle of fanfic, and many other subjects. The book sports a very fine Introduction by John Perry Barlow, and was designed by typography legend John D Berry (and a fantastic cover designed by Ann Monn!).

I'm especially chuffed about John's superb design, because I'm giving the whole electronic text away in the hopes of selling more printed objects, and the fact that this is one of the best-looking books I've ever read really makes the case for owning the p-book as well as the e-book (there's an essay on this subject in the book, too, natch).

As with Little Brother, I'm running a donations program for this book: if you love the book and want to donate something to me for it, you can do so by buying a copy for a librarian or teacher (teachers and librarians: you can request a copy for your institution). This worked incredibly well for Little Brother: we've gotten hundreds of copies of that hardcover into the hands of worthy, cash-strapped institutions thanks to the generosity of my readers. Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future



  1. That’s very good news, C.D. Red against black gives it that nice dangerous look, sinister and just a bit Satanic. Good Man. The use of the copyright symbol is ideal.

    It sounds interesting. Will it be a free digital download? I’m feeling cheap today. Actually I want a signed copy, so where will those be available? I’d like a limited edition if that’s going to be available, something in parchment with a black yak leather cover.

  2. I think Scott Adams of dilbert fame also experimented with giving his first novel away as a way to drive readership & future sales. He detailed the results thoroughly on his blog.

  3. Cool. :)

    One thing – the “buying a copy for a librarian or teacher” link is broken (looks like the system thinks it’s an internal link, rather than external.)

    #2: Jeff, I had to glance at your posting history to be sure you were being sincere, not sarcastic.

  4. Kieran, it’s hard to tell with this emotion-less medium. I’m being sincere about buying a signed edition. The rest was just fun. Although, I did find a news realease on a new kind of flexible reader that I’d love to buy so I could try it out with this new Doctorow book. But seriously, I want a signed copy.

  5. I bought a dead tree copy the other day when I was jonesing for something to read and saw it at the bookstore. Great book. Now I’m going to go download a copy to re-refer/refer to on my phone and point my friends over to get a copy.


  6. #7: Lol, sorry – I had intended to reply in a slightly lighter tone, too. Satanic black yak leather FTW.

  7. Has anyone donated a copy of either book to the library in Wasilla, AK ? (where, as mayor, Sarah Palin attempted to get books banned ?) :)

  8. Hrm. “Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future”

    Is that the title or the whole first chapter?

    It is a beautiful book. But a title like that, a design like that, and even a the fancifully named imprint screams “judge this book by its cover”.

    Good luck.

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