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Roy Trumbull has just posted his latest installment in his podcast readings of science fiction stories, and for this one he’s chosen my story “To Market, To Market: The Branding of Billy Bailey,” which was published in my first short story collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More. Roy really nailed the reading — this is one of my more comic stories, about elementary school kids who worry endlessly about their personal brands and sponsorship opportunities.

Billy and Principal Andrew Alty went all the way back to kindergarten, when Billy had convinced Mitchell McCoy that the green fingerpaint was Shamrock Shake, and watched with glee as the little babyface had scarfed it all down. Billy knew that Andrew Alty knew his style: refined, controlled, and above all, personal. Billy never would’ve dropped a dozen M-80s down the girls’ toilet. His stuff was always one-on-one, and possessed of a degree of charm and subtlety.

But nevertheless, here was Billy, along with the sixth-grade bumper-crop of nasty-come-latelies, called on the carpet in front of Andrew Alty’s massive desk. Andrew Alty was an athletic forty, a babyface true-and-through, and a charismatic thought-leader in his demographic.

To Market, To Market: The Branding of Billy Bailey by Cory Doctorow


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Christian Spließ just posted this fan-translation of my story Craphound, my very first professional publication! Like pretty much everything I’ve published, Craphound is under a CC license, as is this translation. Thanks, Christian!

Craphound hatte für einen verfluchten dreckigen Alien-Bastard ein abgefahrenes Garagenflohmarkt-Karma. Er war einfach zu gut darin aus einem rasenden Fluss der Nutzlosigkeit das einzige Körnchen Gold herauszuwaschen als dass ich ihn nicht hätte mögen können – oder jedenfalls respektieren. Aber dann fand er die Cowboy-Truhe. Für mich waren das zwei Monatsmieten und für Craphound nichts als ein verrückter Alien-Kitsch-Fetisch. Also tat ich das Undenkbare. Ich verletzte den Code. Ich geriet in einen Bietkrieg mit einem Kumpel. Lasst euch nicht erzählen Frauen würde Freundschaften vergiften; laut meiner Erfahrung heilen die Wunden von Auseinandersetzungen über Frauen recht schnell; Auseinandersetzungen über Schrott hinterlassen nichts als verbrannte Erde.



Neil Gaiman

Cory Doctorow straps on his miner’s helmet and takes you deep into the caverns and underground rivers of Pop Culture, here filtered through SF-coloured glasses. Enjoy.

Neil Gaiman,
Author of American Gods and Sandman

/ / A Place So Foreign and Eight More, News

Nalo Hopkinson sent me this photo of my pal and collaborator Karl Schroeder accepting the Sunburst Award (presented by Michelle Sagara) for my short story collection, A Place So Foriegn and Eight More on my behalf at last night’s ceremony at Toronto’s Merril Collection sf library. Here’s the speech he read for me:

It is a cliche to note that receiving an award conveys an honour upon its recipient, but this is a stupendous honour and I would be remiss if I failed to tell you all how mightily chuffed I am. I am deeply sorry that I am not able to be there tonight: I am with you in spirit.

The list of people who deserve to be thanked for this is long indeed: the friends and colleagues; the fans and readers; the editors and critics; the collaborators and the writers who inspired me — and the jury, them too! My most sincere thanks to all of you.

No writer is an island, no idea is original, no effort is a solo effort. We stand upon the shoulders of giants, we collaborate with our colleagues and with the immortal words of our dead literary ancestors. Literature — indeed, all human endeavor — is dignified and uplifted through collaboration and cooperation. We sit atop a great erected infrastructure of human invention and effort, all of it embodied in the bricks and boards that surround us, and, most importantly, in the traditional knowledge that allows each generation to improve upon the bricks and boards of the last one.

The writer is engaged in dialog with the world and with posterity. Our words go on to form a layer of the substrate of human creation. Those who tell us that our words, our art and our posterity are best served with strong locks and high fences are *not on our side*. No writer could pen a single word but for the rich humus of public domain effort with which we garden our notions and conceits.

So thank you all, and thanks most of all to our ancestors, the bringers of fire and the inventors of the wheel, the Judith Merrils and the Phyllis Gotleibs, the Gilgameshes and the golems, the Turings and the Teslas. Thanks to the brave pirates who continue to preserve our posterity in the face of outrageous insult to creation. Thanks to the readers and to you all.

/ / A Place So Foreign and Eight More, News

My short story collection, A Place So Foreign and Eight More, won the Sunburst Award for the best Canadian sf book of the year. There’s a
ceremony commemorating the event on the 23d of September in Toronto, at the Merril Collection. I (really!) wish I could be there, but I’m committed to speaking at a UN meeting on Free/Open Source Software in Geneva on that day, so Karl Schroeder, the brilliant author of Permanence and Ventus, will accept on my behalf.

September 23, 2004  7-9pm
Merrill Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, Lilian H.
Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library
239 College Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto
for more info: (416) 393-7748
The event is open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be

(Thanks Peter!)

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A Place So Foreign and Eight More, has won the 2004 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, winning out over such worthy competitors as Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Robert Charles Wilson’s Blind Lake. I am bursting with pride.

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a
prized and juried award. Based on excellence of writing, it will
be presented annually to a Canadian writer who has had published
a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of
speculative fiction any time during the previous calendar year.
Named after the first novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first
published authors of contemporary Canadian science fiction, the
award consists of: a cash award of $1000 and a medallion which
incorporates a specially designed “Sunburst” logo. The winner
will receive his or her award in fall 2004.

/ / A Place So Foreign and Eight More, News

Just over a year ago, I released my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, as an experiment in what would happen if I allowed my precious copyright to be slightly eroded by one of the Creative Commons licenses. I chose the most restrictive CC license available to me, staying cautious, and I waited to see if the sky would fall.

It didn’t.

So here we are, just a little over a year later, and I am currently, at this moment, standing on a stage at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, delivering a talk called Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books, in which I lay out the case for what I’ve done and explain the myraid ways in which the sky has not fallen on me, and just about now, I’m announcing what’ sin this blog post:

That I am re-licensing Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, effective today, under the terms of one of the least restrictive Creative Commons licenses, the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, which explicitly allows anyone in the world to make any non-commercial adaptation of my book s/he can think of: translations, radio plays, movies, sequels, fanfic, slashfic…you get the picture.

I can’t wait to see what you-all make of this. Surprise me, please!