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Makers by Cory Doctorow


by Cory Doctorow

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A great book centering and the friendship between two guys that just want to make awesome tech stuff. They start a revolution, and the story gets told to the world by a tech journalist. ( )
  andystehr | Oct 20, 2014 |
This is up there as one of my favorite books, it starts with an exploratory fiction of what manufacturing could be and follows through with a world of change. It really does seem to capture the human endeavor and watching the characters mature and change was amazingly interesting. It reminds me every time I read it that there is a time for unyielding optimism and want for a perfect world and, while it will annoy everyone around you, it helps ( )
  Lorem | Oct 11, 2014 |
A novel of ideas that includes well-developed characters and endless inventiveness. In a near future, large corporations begin to invest in small entrepreneurial operations. Two makers in Florida catch the eye of an investor and a Silicon Valley blogger. Each of the three has to decide how their work will fit with their values in a world where the US has huge Hoovervilles full of homeless folks. Lots of fun and lots to think about.
  bfister | Sep 13, 2014 |
Doctorow steers away from the singularity science-fiction & urban fantasy and returns to base roots -- boys with toys. The story chronicles two Makers -- people who build random DIY stuff just to see if they can, like a hive of Tickle-Me-Elmos that collectively drive a golf cart. Eventually they create some sort of "ride" that garners worldwide attention. Including Disney Parks, who wants to tear them apart, steal their ideas, and sue them to the short-and-curlies. Along the way, Doctorow interjects some singularity elements like drastic weight-loss medical procedures, 3-D printers, and advancements in shantytowns.

I don't think it's as good as "Little Brother". There's not as much tension, and the plot meanders. Lord does it meander. The first part, with the boom and bust of the Makers, acts more like a prologue. There's no real unifying goal for the protagonists to achieve (except maybe to be left alone so they can build their things). It's treated more like obstacle, overcoming, obstacle, overcoming. And the final resolution seems deus ex--the bad guy spontaneously learns the error of his ways and converts. Plus I don't get the "ride". Is it a museum? A fictional exhibit? A sort of play? And some things suffer from "24" disease (things happening faster than is plausible). It would be nice to see communication and events happen so fast, but I don't think that's realistic.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. But the story is more like a serial than a novel, and I'm no big fan of serials. ( )
  theWallflower | Nov 13, 2013 |
Is this a novel or a very long series of speculative blog posts? Cory Doctorow's excellent at describing plausible futures, but there's something bloodless and off-putting about how he strings the beginnings of thoughts together with a weak emotional story. I generally want fiction to have a good answer to "So what?" and the stakes in Makers are plenty high. Still, the conventional storytelling is just a wrapper--and a poor fit at that--for the ideas that practically bubble over on every page. Would have liked to see more formal weirdness, experimentation, integration.

Does Nerve still give out awards for bad sex in fiction? If so, I nominate Makers for all of the categories. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
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For "the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things."
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Suzanne Church almost never had to bother with the blue blazer these days. Back at the height of the dot-boom, she'd put on her business journalist drag--blazer, blue sailcloth shirt, khaki trousers, loafers--just about every day, putting in her obligatory appearances at splashy press-conferences for high-flying IPOs and mergers. These days, it was mostly work at home or one day a week at the San Jose Mercury News's office, in comfortable light sweaters with loose necks and loose cotton pants that she could wear straight to yoga after shutting her computer's lid.
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What happens to America when two geeks working from a garage invent easy 3D printing, a cure for obesity, and crowd-sourced theme parks? Lawsuits against Disney are only the beginning in this major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America in the age of open source and its hero/hacker culture.… (more)

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