Official Downloads:

Above, you’ll find links to downloadable editions of the text of Rapture of the Nerds. These downloads are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs license, which lets you share it, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis. If you’d like to make a remix, please get in touch with us.

Cory’s previous books have been released under a slightly different Creative Commons license, one that allowed for derivative works (that is, new creative works based on this one). Keen observers will have already noticed that this book is licensed “NoDerivs” — that is, you can’t make remixes without permission

A word of explanation for this shift is in order. When I first started publishing under Creative Commons licenses, I had to carefully explain this to my editor and publisher at Tor Books. They were incredibly forward-looking and gave me permission to release the first-ever novel licensed under CC — my debut novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. This ground-breaking step was only possible because I was able to have intense, personal discussions with my publisher.

My foreign rights agents are the inestimable Danny and Heather Baror, and collectively they have sold my books into literally dozens of countries and languages, helping to bring my work to places I couldn’t have dreamed of reaching on my own. They subcontract for my agent Russell Galen, another inestimable personage without whom I would not have attained anything like the dizzy heights that I enjoy today. They attend large book fairs in cities like Frankfurt and Bologna in order to sell the foreign rights to my books, often negotiating with one of a few English-speakers at a foreign press, who then goes back and justifies her or his decisions to the rest of the company.

The point is that this is nothing like my initial Creative Commons discussion with Tor. That was me sitting down and making the case to editors I’ve known for years (my editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, has known me since I was 17). My foreign rights are sold by a subcontractor of my representative to a representative of a press I’ve often never heard of, who then has to explain my publishing philosophy to people I’ve never met, using a language I don’t speak.

This is hard.

Danny and Heather have asked — not demanded, asked! — that I consider publishing books under a NoDerivs license, so that I can consult with them before I authorize translations of my books. They want to be able to talk to potential foreign publishers about how this stuff works, to give me time to talk with them, to ease them into the idea, and to have the kind of extended conversation that helped me lead Tor into their decision all those years ago.

And I agreed. Free/open culture is something publishers need to be led to, not forced into. It’s a long conversation that often runs contrary to their intuition and received wisdom. But no one gets into publishing to get rich. Working in the publishing industry is virtually a vow of poverty. The only reason to get into publishing is because you flat-out love books and want to make them happen. People work in publishing for the same reason writers write: they can’t help themselves.

So I want to be able to have this conversation, personally, unhurriedly, one-to-one. I want to keep all the people involved in my books — agents, subagents, foreign editors and their bosses — in the loop on these discussions. I will always passionately advocate for CC licensing in all of my work. I promise you that if you write to me with a request for a noncommercial derivative use, that I will do everything in my power to see that it is authorized.

And in the meantime, I draw your attention to article 2 of all Creative Commons licenses:

Nothing in this License is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any uses free from copyright or rights arising from limitations or exceptions that are provided for in connection with the copyright protection under copyright law or other applicable laws.

Strip away the legalese and what that says is, “Copyright gives you, the public, rights. Fair use is real. Fair dealing is real. De minimum exemptions to copyright are real. You have the right to make all sorts of uses of all copyrighted works, without permission, without Creative Commons licenses.

Rights are like muscles. When you don’t exercise them, they get flabby. Stop asking for stuff you can take without permission. Please!

(And, for the record, Charlie agrees.)

It’s kind of a tradition around here for readers to convert ebooks to their favorite formats and send them to me here, and it’s one that we love! Permission is hereby granted to convert the files below to other formats. If you’ve converted these files to another format, send them to me and I’ll host them, but before you do, make sure you read the following:

  • Only one conversion per format, first come, first serve. That means that if someone’s already converted the file to a Femellhebber 3000 document, that’s the one you’re going to find here. I just don’t know enough about esoteric readers to adjudicate disputes about what the ideal format is for your favorite device.
  • Make sure include a link to the reader as well. When you send me an ebook file, make sure that you include a link to the website for the reader technology as well so that I can include it below.
  • No cover art. The text of this book is freely copyable, the cover, not so much. The rights to it are controlled by my publisher, so don’t include it with your file.
  • No DRM. The Creative Commons license prohibits sharing the file with “DRM” (sometimes called “copy-protection”) on it, and that’s fine by me. Don’t send me the book with DRM on it. If you’re converting to a format that has a DRM option, make sure it’s switched off.

Fan conversions:

32 Responses to “Download The Rapture Of The Nerds For Free”

  1. benjymous

    The pdf link is broken, btw, (needs “pdf” adding to the end of the url)

    I’ll waiting for someone to convert it into something that’s e-reader friendly – the two columns in that pdf make for stupidly unreadable text on my phone :-

  2. Kevin McClusky

    Hey Cory

    Need to add the .pdf extension to the url. Keep up the good work.


  3. Michael Sauers

    Looks like the PDF link is fixed. I’ve also e-mailed Cory an epub file so hopefully it’ll be posted soon for those looking for a more ereader-friendly format.

  4. Sean

    The MOBI link doesn’t seem to be working.

    Thanks for doing this. This will be the first book of yours I’ve read and honestly can’t afford it otherwise. If I enjoy I’ll purchase others.


  5. Stefan

    Thank you both ! I also bought the hardcopy, you know, for the shelf, if the first godlike AI will … wait, has this already happened ?

  6. Jamie Stewrt


    I’m currently digging into the fan conversion epub file, linked to above. It looks like there is a small typo in the Jury Sevice chapter:
    “He glances at his companion, who is evidentlyt another survivor of the party:”
    I’m not sure if this was introduced in the conversion or not.
    Just a few pages in, and it looks like fun!

  7. Jamie Stewart


    Off-topic: do you use revision numbers for versioning your manuscripts, or dates?

  8. Jamie Stewart

    Ran into another single-character typo. It in te ePub version, so I can’t give you a useful page number. Huw is getting cloned:

    “Before he can jerk free, the instrument bush hovering over him has scraped a layer of skin from his forearm and drawn a few cmililiters of blood from the back of his hand, leaving behind an anesthetized patch of numb skin”.

    It’s good fun, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I like Huw’s name, allusions to 2nd person while sticking with third. :)
    Sorry I missed you guys at the Brooklyn Maker meetup earlier this month.

  9. Daryl

    I thought it only polite to say thank you for giving me your new book. Was raving at the pub just yesterday about the Stross/Doctorow/Bacigalupi axis – to another P2P/Open Source luminary (@jdaviescoates) and as if by magic you give me a present today.

  10. Cory Doctorow

    Hey, Gerard. As the instructions clearly state, the cover image may not be included in these downloads, as I don’t have the rights to it.

  11. Jamie Stewart

    Hello again. I found a few inadvertent line breaks in the ePub version. I don’t know if they are in your text, or if they were inserted in the format conversion. They are all in about the same place, right before the first singing at the end of Jury Service:

    “Tell the truth, I was just bumming around, enjoying my second teenage Wanderjahr

    when I heard ’bout you through the grapevine.”



    Giuliani. Hanging judge and reality show host.


    “Oh.” Normally this description of

    Giuliani’s politics would fill Huw with the warm fuzzies

    The book keeps getting better and better. I love it. :)

  12. Chris

    Thanks for the CC version Cory. Once the donation site is live I will donate a hardcover version to the closest library/school.

  13. Al Binewski

    Interesting typo in the fine print commercial interlude. It says you are free to distribute it far and wide as long as you are NOT doing it in a NON-commercial manner.. This was faithfully translated from the occicial html to the epub version (and I assume the other versions).

  14. Al Binewski

    *official*. Of course, I would make a typo in a post about a typo..

  15. David

    The link to the .txt version is broken. Simply remove “_kindle” from the url and it works just fine.

  16. nic

    Thanks for sharing. I buy a lot of your books for the library that I work at. It’s great of you to also make them freely available in this way.

  17. Roy Sigurd Karlsbakk

    Bought one, and then bought another copy to the best sci-fi author in Norway, Tor Åge Bringsværd, and mailed him the copy. Thanks! This is great :)

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