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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Right Wing Critique of the Week - Cory Doctorow

Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present

I picked it up because Cory Doctorow is a cool name.

Doctorow is a Canadian and an idiot liberal, but it's not glaringly obvious in the stories. In this collected work there are prefaces where he says that GM workers are being screwed by the greedy corporation, which is trying to redirect their ire toward illegal immigrant scapegoats.

What? Maybe other greedy corporations are doing that, but the UAWs are overpaid and the union has destroyed the US car industry with the slight help of regulators. I don't think it's possible for the car makers to have agreed to the current pay and benefits without the implicit threat of government-imposed arbitration, violence against picket breakers, etc. It's possible, and in Iacocca's autobiography he has nothing bad to say about the unions, but... the UAWs are not being screwed.

Anyway, I found Overclocked to be mediocre. The writing was fine but the ideas (central to any sci fi short story) were eehhhhhhh. A row-boat with AI. Non-three-laws robots from China competing with three laws robots in the North American police state. I can't even remember the other ones.

Contrast to Robert Sawyer, whose writing is poorly executed but the ideas are original and somewhat genre-bending. I prefer his work.

Too much wasted space as well. It didn't drag, but it was not as concise as short stories should be.

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