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A hot new novel, available for free

Tom Jackson • Feb 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM

One of my favorite novels of the last few years, Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother", now has a sequel,  Doctorow's new novel, "Homeland."

Reviewing "Homeland" in the Wall Street Journal, critic Tom Shippey wrote, " 'Homeland' is as dead serious as '1984,' as potentially important a 'novel of ideas,' with a much more engaging central character and an apparently inexhaustible supply of information on everything from brewing coffee to sneaky surveillance and how to defeat it."

I bought my copy Wednesday. I support Doctorow's activism for Internet freedom, one of the messages of his book. (There's even an afterword by Aaron Swartz.) But Doctorow, a crusader for reform of the nation's restrictive copyright laws, always releases a free electronic version of his books under the Creative Commons license.

Probably unintentionally, this practice has created a kind of two-tier system for readers of Doctorow's books. The cyber hipsters, the kind of folks who follow Cory on social media or who read Boing Boing, get to read Doctorow's books for free. Everyone else pays for them, or goes to the library.

I hope you will buy a copy, like I did. That subsidizes readers who cannot afford "Homeland."

But if you can't afford a copy, or just want to try Doctorow before you buy, consider yourself a cyber hipster! The link to download "Homeland" is here. The link to download "Little Brother" is here. You could always download "Little Brother" and then, if you like it, buy the sequel.

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