Audio version of my essay collection Context

Jan Rubak has once again set out to create a fan-audiobook of my essays, reading aloud from my book Context as he did with my earlier collection, Content. He's a great reader, and he's uploaded half the book so far, with the rest promised soon. Here's an MP3 of his reading of "Think Like a Dandelion."

"Context" by Cory Doctorow : Jan Rubak : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive (Thanks, Jan!)


  1. I had actually read Saying Information Wants to Be Free Does More Harm Than Good, for a podsafe music and talk show I do on I always loved Cory’s essays and books and thought it was a great way to spread the word about Cory to some of my friends.
    :) enjoy

  2. I just listened to the mp3 in the post.
    you’re a writer with published works and you think that is a ‘great’ read?
    I always knew voice actors/narrators were under-valued, and that it takes a bit of editing to remove the breaths, and that it takes an objective ear to let the reader know when he’s ‘singing’ phrases, when he’s over-emphasizing words (“writers” 4:00), etc.,
    but ‘great’?! come on.
    then I listened to Ryno’s read – whoa.
    I know you are all about the free flow of information, but letting any old interested person (poorly) read and distribute your works… how does that help you, or me the listener who has to turn it off?
    free does not equal valuable.
    send me something to read and I’ll prove it to you

    1. Hi Gerard,

      I make no claims to be anything other than an amateur reader, and I was well aware of my tendency to over-enunciate even before it was pointed out in a listener review of the previous book, “Content”.  But to paraphrase Asimov: my primary aim is for clarity, and those who want to worry about style, let them do as they wish.  That said, I’m an avid consumer of professionally-produced audiobooks, and I take enough pride in my own efforts that I expect to only improve with time and experience.

      Regarding your first question (free flow of information), I thought Cory outlined his philosophy pretty succinctly on that in the “Think Like a Dandelion” piece that you said you’d just listened to.  If you didn’t care for the floral metaphor, maybe check out chapters 10 and 17 in “Content” (warning: the audio is read by me, so you’d better grab the pdf instead).  I assume of course that your question is sincere and that you’re not simply a troll who’s wandered over here from

      As someone who listens to podcasts regularly and who originally became a fan of spoken-word through (before I had enough spare income to be an Audible subscriber), I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that free means worthless.  I know that’s not strictly speaking what you said, but it is what your tone implies.  The fact that I now contribute financially to a market (podiobooks included) which I wouldn’t have discovered if not for its having an active freemium layer clearly puts the lie to your statement.  And *that’s* just if the only “value” you care about is monetary.  Another thing that Cory lauds in his speeches is how the cultural landscape is being broadened by the technological lowering of the entry barriers to media production.  My own favourite examples of this are,, and (and I’m still hopeful that machinima might become a thriving medium).  As a fan, I’m obviously also tickled to be able to support Cory’s activism myself by producing audio adaptations of his books using nothing more sophisticated than my home computer, a $150 condenser mic and free audio editing software.  That you apparently weren’t bothered by the 10-20 edit points that exist in each of the chapters I’ve recorded means that I must be doing something right, even though I’m still just a learning amateur.

      (The inclusion of breaths was actually deliberate on my part, as I find it aids the pacing and it’s not standard practice to edit to that level in podcast production.  I’ll try masking them out in the next chapter and see how I like the result.  I’m not sure what “singing” refers to—is it the opposite extreme of speaking in drab monotone?)

      Finally, Cory doesn’t need to send you anything to read.  Virtually *everything* he writes, both fiction and non-, is released under Creative Commons by-nc-sa and is downloadable from  Nobody’s stopping you, and us fans would all love to have more Cory available in the media landscape.


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