200 free copies of my next YA novel, FOR THE WIN, for young reviewers

Tor Books, the US/Canada publisher, has two hundred advance copies of my next young adult novel, For the Win, available for free to young (19 or younger) gamers who are interested in reviewing the book on their blog or school paper. The book is about gamer kids all over the world who use multiplayer games to organize and fight back against abusive employers:
In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power--including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once--a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation

If you're under 19 and want a free early look at the book for review on your blog/paper/whatever, send a note with your address to torpublicity@tor.com with "FTW" for the subject-line. Also include the name of your blog or school paper. For fun, also share a game you enjoyed recently and why.

We did this with Little Brother a couple years back, on the grounds that books for young people should be available for young reviewers to write about, rather than just adult reviewers who try to figure out whether young people will enjoy them. It was a real success and I'm happy to be repeating it.

This is being launched in honor of the American Library Association's Teen Tech Week, and is open to Canadians and Americans. I'm working on a similar offer for the UK edition, for Britons, Aussies, South Africans and Kiwis, and will post about it as soon as I have details.


    1. Yeah, I think that it’s a mistake to think that YA != appropriate for adults. YA means “young adults and adults may both enjoy this book.”

        1. primer example is cory’s other YA novel, “Litte Brother” which is not just one of my favorite books, it changed the way i see the world.

        2. It goes both ways. Aside from Cormac McCarthy I’m hard-pressed to think of any contemporary adult fiction that wouldn’t be accessible to youngsters. I think it’s just a sign the reading population as a whole is getting less sophisticated.

  1. Sounds like a good read. I have to say it also sounds very similar to a short story that I read in Fiction not to long back about a gamer whose clan was a mercenary organization of kick-@$$ warriors that killed gold farmers. Very cool sociopolitical commentary in it.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading it. If I give you a reverse fake-id saying I’m only 18, can I have a free copy?

  2. Eliz, that was actually one of Cory’s, from “True Tales…”. I was actually wondering if that story and this book are in the same universe — I’d like to hear about those characters again.

    1. Ah, cool. Yes, I actually started to like the main character. I think the kick-butt female organizer archetype needs to be explored more. Ever since the inquisition it’s been suppressed. Time for a comeback and Tom Robbins isn’t doing it anymore.

      Tanks for the informunitions.

  3. I wrote out a very long comment about my experiences with those that deal with the trade of Virtual Currency, but it seems it was lost in the abyss.

    What I find surprising about the premise of this book if I understand it correctly is that some RMT themselves are objecting to the nature of the trade and are banding together with others. Interesting indeed. In one MMO in particular, I rallied with a group of like-minded honest players against RMT when the caretakers of the game themselves were too ashamed to admit it had been overrun. We used every means at our disposal to thwart their progress, bent every mechanic the game had to interrupt them, even if for a just brief moment in their 365 day a year struggle to make money. It didn’t last long, as we soon realized the absurdity that we were actually paying money to spend our time combating those that were making money in our beloved virtual countryside. Perhaps if I was RMT I would feel differently. I will no doubt find the book a fascinating read. I thank the author for taking the time to write about such a hidden and often neglected reality behind Online Games.

  4. will tor also send copies to YA librarians who can distribute them to teens? or do you only want them to go directly to teens?

  5. Ah Cool! More Cory to read (and I’m not even a young adult any more). Looking forward to it. I’m a little late to the Cory bandwagon but I just finished “Someone Comes to Town . . ” and enjoyed it immensely. Reminded me of Slaughterhouse Five”. Loved that I wasn’t able to see plot lines coming up and the character naming scheme was brilliant. Great stuff.

  6. Santa’s Knee here:

    Please tell me that two of the kids have the online monikers of Locke and Demosthenes?


  7. Sadly, I fall a little out of the under 18 range, but I really look forward to reading it. I loved your short stories I read in grad school, and Little Brother which kept me enthralled on a roadtrip last year!

  8. Amazing, Cory. You are a whirlwind and a powerhouse (and a braniac). Congratulations. I wish you every success.

  9. I absolutely LOVE the idea for this book! My only issue is that tagline on the cover. Not very catchy… shoulda been “Overthrowing corrupt global authorities…. LFG.”

  10. My teenage daughter is a voracious reader and I’ll bet she’d like to read a pre-release and write about (she has written a few short stories just for fun). Very cool that you (and Tor) are giving preference to the younger readers.

    BTW, could you please give me an idea of the level of mature content (expletives, sex, violence, drug use, etc.)?

  11. Those are some terrifyingly well-organized riot police on the cover! I hope they read this book, especially the young-adult riot police, and take its valuable lessons to heart!

  12. I have read a story like this before… but it was a short one and more on obeisity.

    However, as a gamer, I feel that the only real way to stop this sort of thing in the real world is to stop people from buying accounts. Yes, it may cause problems for people who do this for a living, but the only real winners in this situation are people who buy the items, gold, level 80 charaters, etc and the people who run these “sweatshops”.
    I think if a company really wanted to stop this in their game, they could perhaps sell the objects themselves.
    If blizard started selling level 80 chars with epic items, all this would vanish. And also, all of those stupid “Level 80 in one week!” would vanish. And though less rich players would be irritated by this, lets face it: virtual charaters are not worth real life lives.

    Sent in my email asking for one!

  13. this is very cool. thank you for doing this. and i agree with katanagunslinger’s tagline suggestion. maybe the next cover…

    anna koval:)

  14. Cory, You have just earned so many Karma points for your generosity. This is so cool and I offer up my sincerest Waynes World “I’m not worthy!” salute to you. I also promise to purchase the book when it comes out and pass it on to my friends kids after reading it myself, which is what I did with “Little Brother”.

  15. This is a great idea! I’m not American or Canadian otherwise I would have asked if being 19 would be ok. An ebook for someone whose age is “on the edge” is out of the question? (just an attempt…).
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to read it…the story seems so interesting and I will wait for the normal edition.


  16. loved Little Brother!!!! can’t wait for this to come out! I hope I’m not too late to sign up.

Comments are closed.