Author(s): Cory Doctorow
Hubert, Seth and Natalie are way too old to be at a Communist party. But in a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, they have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do. But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter - from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and ...walkaway. It's a dangerous world out there, the empty lands are lawless, hiding predators - animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, the thousands become hundreds of thousands, building what threatens to beome a post-scarcity utopia. But then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. And now it's war - a war that will turn the world upside down.
'Doctorow has authored the Bhagavad Gita of hacker/maker/burner/open source/git/gnu/wiki/99%/adjunct faculty/Anonymous/shareware/thingiverse/cypherpunk/ LGTBQIA*/squatter/upcycling culture and zipped it down into a pretty damned tight techno-thriller with a lot of sex in it' Neal Stephenson. 'The darker the hour, the better the moment for a rigorously imagined utopian fiction. Walkaway is now the best contemporary example I know of. A wonderful novel' William Gibson. 'A hard-edged, intelligent look at our immediate future and the high and low points of human nature, incisive, compelling and plausible' Adrian Tchaikovsky. 'Doctorow is one of our most important science fiction writers ... In a world full of easy dystopias, he writes the hard utopia, and what do you know, his utopia is both more thought-provoking and more fun' Kim Stanley Robinson. 'Walkaway reminds us that the world we choose to build is the one we'll inhabit. Technology empowers both the powerful and the powerless, and if we want a world with more liberty and less control, we're going to have to fight for it' Edward Snowden. 'A beautifully done utopia, just far enough off normal to be science fiction, and just near enough to the near-plausible, on both the utopian and dystopian elements, to be eerie as almost programmatic ... a sheer delight' Yochai Benchler. 'Takes the idea of personalities as computer programs to its logical consequence, and envisages multiple copies of the same program - the same person - running simultaneously on different networks. This is the closest anyone will ever get to the fantasy of cloning identical human beings' Guardian. 'A bravura piece of storytelling, and marks a powerful shift in awareness and understanding, not just for the characters but undoubtedly for the readers themselves' National Post. 'The tech may be more advanced, but the politics feel familiar ... The overwhelming message of Walkaway is hope [and] right now, that could not feel more timely' SciFiNow. 'Proper science fiction. A warning of our times. An investigation of what it means to be a human today and where the future might take us' Nudge.
Cory Doctorow is a co-editor of Boing Boing and a columnist for the Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and Locus. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller. Born and raised in Canada, he lives in Los Angeles.