Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom - Cory Doctorow

As a fan of Boing Boing, I thought I might read Mr. Doctorow's adventures into writing. Oh dear. In a world where death has been conquered, and scarcity banished, how could it come to this? The formal economy has been replaced by hobbyists working pretty much ad hoc for computerised brownie points. Ok, fine as a starting point, but what happens in careers which require real experience and competence? Let's ignore that and focus on a theme park instead. And even there, the events in the book show the system failing. Weird.

So, ignoring the nonsensical world-building, what about the characters? In a universe where mind-backups mean that people can live for hundreds of years, everyone is apparently stupid and immature. Sufficiently so that I really couldn't care for the fate of the characters. This is good, becaue they generally screwed things up for themselves. This is also bad, since it made reading the novel mostly pointless.

If this book has any point, it appear to be saying that even in a futuristic utopia, everyone can be as shallow as a Californian teen TV drama. I'm not sure this was the point intended.

Posted 2007-05-08.