Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktəroʊ/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.
|Born||July 17, 1971|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genre||Science fiction, postcyberpunk|
Alice Taylor (m. 2008)
Doctorow was born in Toronto, Ontario. His father was born in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan. Although he is an admirer of acclaimed novelist E. L. Doctorow, the two are of no known relation, contrary to popular belief; the surname "Doctorow" is somewhat common among Jewish people of Eastern European descent. In elementary school, Doctorow befriended Tim Wu. He received his high school diploma from the SEED School, and attended four universities without attaining a degree. He later served on the board of directors for the Grindstone Island Co-operative in Big Rideau Lake in Ontario.
In June 1999, he co-founded the free software P2P company Opencola with John Henson and Grad Conn. The company was sold to the Open Text Corporation of Waterloo, Ontario, during the summer of 2003. The company used a drink called OpenCola as part of its promotional campaign.
Doctorow later relocated to London and worked as European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation for four years, helping to establish the Open Rights Group, before leaving the EFF to pursue writing full-time in January 2006. Upon his departure, Doctorow was named a Fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was named the 2006–2007 Canadian Fulbright Chair for Public Diplomacy at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, sponsored jointly by the Royal Fulbright Commission, the Integrated Media Systems Center, and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. The professorship included a one-year writing and teaching residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States. He then returned to London, but remained a frequent public speaker on copyright issues.
In 2009, Doctorow became the first Independent Studies Scholar in Virtual Residence at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He was a student in the program during 1993–94, but left without completing a thesis. Doctorow is also a Visiting Professor at the Open University in the United Kingdom. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from The Open University.
Doctorow married Alice Taylor in October 2008, and together they have one daughter named Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, who was born in 2008. Doctorow became a British citizen by naturalisation on 12 August 2011.
In 2015, Doctorow decided to leave London and move to Los Angeles, feeling disappointed by London's "death" from Britain's choice of Conservative government. He claims on his blog, "But London is a city whose two priorities are being a playground for corrupt global elites who turn neighbourhoods into soulless collections of empty safe-deposit boxes in the sky, and encouraging the feckless criminality of the finance industry. These two facts are not unrelated." He rejoined the EFF in January 2015 to campaign for the eradication of digital rights management (DRM).
He served as Canadian Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1999.
Together with Austrian art group monochrom, he initiated the Instant Blitz Copy Fight project, which asks people from all over the world to take flash pictures of copyright warnings in movie theaters.
As a user of the Tor anonymity network for more than a decade during his global travels, Doctorow publicly supports the network; furthermore, Boing Boing operates a "high speed, high-quality exit node."
Doctorow began selling fiction when he was 17 years old and sold several stories followed by publication of his story "Craphound" in 1998.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Doctorow's first novel, was published in January 2003, and was the first novel released under one of the Creative Commons licences, allowing readers to circulate the electronic edition as long as they neither made money from it nor used it to create derived works. The electronic edition was released simultaneously with the print edition. In March 2003, it was re-released with a different Creative Commons licence that allowed derivative works such as fan fiction, but still prohibited commercial usage. It was nominated for a Nebula Award, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 2004. A semi-sequel short story named Truncat was published on Salon.com in August 2003.
His novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, published in June 2005, was chosen to launch the Sci-Fi Channel's book club, Sci-Fi Essentials (now defunct).
Doctorow's other novels have been released with Creative Commons licences that allow derived works and prohibit commercial usage, and he has used the model of making digital versions available, without charge, at the same time that print versions are published.
His Sunburst Award-winning short story collectionA Place So Foreign and Eight More was also published in 2004: "0wnz0red" from this collection was nominated for the 2004 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.
Doctorow released the bestselling novel Little Brother in 2008 with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licence. It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2009. and won the 2009 Prometheus Award, Sunburst Award, and the 2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Doctorow released another young adult novel, For the Win, in May 2010. The novel is available free on the author's website as a Creative Commons download, and is also published in traditional paper format by Tor Books. The book concerns massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
Doctorow's short story collection "With a Little Help" was released in printed format on May 3, 2011. It is a project to demonstrate the profitability of Doctorow's method of releasing his books in print and subsequently for free under Creative Commons.
Doctorow's nonfiction works include his first book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (co-written with Karl Schroeder and published in 2000), and his contributions to Boing Boing, the blog he co-edits, as well as regular columns in the magazines Popular Science and Make. He is a contributing writer to Wired magazine, and contributes occasionally to other magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, and the Boston Globe. In 2004, he wrote an essay on Wikipedia included in The Anthology at the End of the Universe, comparing Internet attempts at Hitchhiker's Guide-type resources, including a discussion of the Wikipedia article about himself.
Doctorow contributed the foreword to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. He also was a contributing writer for the book Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century.
He popularised the term "metacrap" by a 2001 essay titled "Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia." Some of his non-fiction published between 2001 and 2007 has been collected by Tachyon Publications as Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future. In 2016 he wrote the article Mr. Robot Killed the Hollywood-Hacker (published on MIT Technology Review) as a review of the TV show Mr. Robot and argued for a better portrayal and understanding of technology, computers and their risks and consequences in our modern world.
He is the originator of Doctorow's Law: "Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
Doctorow believes that copyright laws should be liberalised to allow for free sharing of all digital media. He has also advocated filesharing. He argues that copyright holders should have a monopoly on selling their own digital media and that copyright laws should not be operative unless someone attempts to sell a product that is under someone else's copyright.
Doctorow is an opponent of digital rights management and claims that it limits the free sharing of digital media and frequently causes problems for legitimate users (including registration problems that lock users out of their own purchases and prevent them from being able to move their media to other devices).
The webcomic 'xkcd' occasionally features a partially fictional version of Doctorow who lives in a hot air balloon up in the "blogosphere" ("above the tag clouds") and wears a red cape and goggles, such as in the comic "Blagofaire". When Doctorow won the 2007 EFF Pioneer Award, the presenters gave him a red cape, goggles and a balloon.
The novel Ready Player One features a mention of Doctorow as being the newly re-elected President of the OASIS User Council (with Wil Wheaton as his Vice-President) in the year 2044, saying that, "...those two geezers had been doing a kick-ass job of protecting user rights for over a decade."
The comedic role-playing game Kingdom of Loathing features a boss-fight against a monster named Doctor Oh who is described as wearing a red cape and goggles. The commentary before the fight and assorted hit, miss and fumble messages during the battle make reference to Doctorow's advocacy for Open-Source sharing and freedom of media.
In chronological sequence, unless otherwise indicated
|Title||Year||First published in||Reprinted in|
|Craphound||1998||Science Fiction Age, March 1998||
|The Super Man and the Bugout||1998||DailyLit|
|Return to Pleasure Island||2000||Realms of Fantasy|
|0wnz0red||2002||?||A place so foreign and eight more. Four Walls Eight Windows. 2003. ISBN 1568582862.|
|Truncat||2002||?||The Bakka anthology. Bakka Books. 2002. ISBN 0973150831.|
|I, Row-Boat||2006||Flurb: a webzine of astonishing tales 1 (Fall 2006)||Overclocked: stories of the future present. Thunder's Mouth Press. 2007. ISBN 1560259817.|
|Scroogled||2007||Radar (Sep 2007)||With a little help. Cor-Doc Co. 2009. ISBN 9780557943050.|
|The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away||2008||Tor.com|
|When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth||2008||??||Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. Night Shade Books. 2008. ISBN 9781597801058.|
|True names (with Benjamin Rosenbaum)||2008||Anders, Lou, ed. (2008). Fast forward 2. Pyr. ISBN 9781591026921.||Kessel, John; Kelly, James Patrick, eds. (2012). Digital rapture: the singularity anthology. Tachyon. ISBN 9781616960704.|
|There's a great big beautiful tomorrow / Now is the best time of your life||2010||Strahan, Jonathan, ed. (2010). Godlike machines. Science Fiction Book Club. ISBN 9781616647599.||Doctorow, Cory (2011). The great big beautiful tomorrow. PM Press. ISBN 9781604864045.|
|Clockwork Fagin||2011||Grant, Gavin J. and Link, Kelly, eds. (2011). Steampunk! Candlewick Press. ISBN 9780763660451|
|Chicken Little||2009||With a little help. Cor-Doc Co. 2009. ISBN 9780557943050.||Hull, Elizabeth Anne, ed. (2011). Gateways. Tor. ISBN 9780765326621.|
|The Man Who Sold The Moon||2014||Boing Boing|
|Car Wars||2016||Deakin University|
It's called Open Cola, a product first produced by now-defunct Toronto software company Opencola as something of a joke. Taking inspiration from Richard Stallman's famous dictum that free software was "free as in speech, not as in beer", it was meant as a kind of promotional tool. The recipe was published online for anyone to take and adapt. Version 1.0 was published on 27 January 2001 -- the latest version is 1.1.3. Opencola closed in 2003, but Open Cola's recipe is still around.
A Place So Foreign and Eight More is a collection of short stories by Canadian-British writer Cory Doctorow. Six of these stories were released electronically under a Creative Commons license. A paperback edition was issued in New York by publisher Four Walls Eight Windows in 2003 with ISBN 1-56858-286-2. The collection features an introduction by Bruce Sterling, and includes "0wnz0red", which was nominated for the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.Dodgem Logic
Dodgem Logic is a bimonthly underground magazine edited and published by Alan Moore. The first issue appeared in January 2010. Each issue featured comics, stories, and articles by Moore, including the regular feature "Great Hipsters in History". The general tone of the magazine was irreverent and subversive, after the manner of The East Village Other and the National Lampoon. Regular artists and writers include Dave Hamilton, Kevin O'Neill, Steve Aylett, Josie Long and LeJorne Pindling.
The first issue included a CD titled "Nation of Saints, 50 Years of Northampton music Included with the second issue, as an insert, was an eight page Alan Moore comic book, "Astounding Weird Penises".
According to Cory Doctorow, "The mere fact that the Great Bearded Wizard of Albion, Mr Alan Moore, is behind a new journal, Dodgem Logic, should be enough to get a lot of us interested. But add in talents like the Josie Long, Graham Linehan, Kev O'Neill, Melinda Gebbie, Steve Aylett and others and I'm pretty much sold and I'd imagine so are most of us." and Wired magazine describes Dodgem Logic as "an engaging, educational and often hilarious read".The last issue of Dodgem Logic was published on 1 April 2011. During its existence a total of eight issues appeared.Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a 2003 science fiction book, the first novel by Canadian author and digital-rights activist Cory Doctorow. Concurrent with its publication by Tor Books, Doctorow released the entire text of the novel under a Creative Commons noncommercial license on his website, allowing the whole text of the book to be freely read and distributed without needing any further permission from him or his publisher.
The novel was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2004.Eastern Standard Tribe
Eastern Standard Tribe is a 2004 novel by Cory Doctorow. Like Doctorow's first two books, the entire text was released under a Creative Commons license on Doctorow's website, allowing the whole text of the book to be read for free and distributed without the publisher's permission.For the Win
For the Win is the second young adult science fiction novel by Canadian author Cory Doctorow. It was released in May 2010. The novel is available free on the author's website as a Creative Commons download, and is also published in traditional paper form by Tor Books.
The book is centered on massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Even though the novel is targeted toward young adults, it takes on significant concepts such as macroeconomics and labor rights. It covers the new and fast evolving concept of virtual economy. It also deals with MMORPG specific topics like gold farming and power-leveling.Homeland (Doctorow novel)
Homeland is a novel by Cory Doctorow, published by Tor Books. It is a sequel to Doctorow's earlier novel, Little Brother. It was released in hardback on February 5, 2013 and subsequently released for download under a Creative Commons license on Doctorow's website two weeks later on February 19, 2013.
The novel includes two afterword essays by computer security researcher and hacker Jacob Appelbaum, and computer programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz.I, Robot (Cory Doctorow)
I, Robot is a science-fiction short story by Cory Doctorow published April 15, 2005. According to Doctorow's website:
In spring 2004, in the wake of Ray Bradbury pitching a tantrum over Michael Moore appropriating the title of Fahrenheit 451 to make Fahrenheit 9/11, I conceived of a plan to write a series of stories with the same titles as famous sf shorts, which would pick apart the totalitarian assumptions underpinning some of sf's classic narratives.The story is set in the type of police state needed to ensure that only one company is allowed to make robots, and only one type of robot is allowed.
The story follows single Father detective Arturo Icaza de Arana-Goldberg while he tries to track down his missing teenage daughter.
The detective is a bit of an outcast because his wife defected to Eurasia, a rival Superpower.Information Doesn't Want to Be Free
Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free is a 2014 non-fiction book by science fiction writer and Internet activist Cory Doctorow. In the book, he advocates for less restrictions on intellectual property on the Internet. He states that "[i]nformation doesn’t want to be free,...people do.” Doctorow disagrees with claims by creators and creative industry representatives that downloading and streaming of content online (e.g., songs) is hurting creators and creative industries. Doctorow argues that a "free and open digital culture" provides a net benefit to society. Movie and music industries have tried to stop online pirated sharing of their content. Similarly, book authors have tried to prevent their texts from being made available on the Internet.
Doctorow argues that an open Internet is like a musician or street performer busking on the street. If people passing by enjoy the performance, they put money in the hat. Yes, some people will listen and then leave without putting money in the hat. But enough fans will put money in the hat. Doctorow claims that this analogy will work on the Internet. He says that just because the Internet and computers make it easy to copy and post content online, this doesn't mean that users will pirate content. Doctorow says digital locks on content do not reduce piracy; he argues that digital locks provoke piracy.Internet Speculative Fiction Database
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.Little Brother (Doctorow novel)
Little Brother is a novel by Cory Doctorow, published by Tor Books. It was released on April 29, 2008. The novel is about four teenagers in San Francisco who, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and BART system, defend themselves against the Department of Homeland Security's attacks on the Bill of Rights. The novel is available for free on the author's website under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA), keeping it accessible and remixable to all.The book debuted at No. 9 on The New York Times Best Seller list, children's chapter book section, in May 2008. As of July 2, it had spent a total of six weeks on the list, rising to the No. 8 spot. Little Brother won the 2009 White Pine Award, the 2009 Prometheus Award. and the 2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award. It also was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Little Brother received the Sunburst Award in the young adult category.The New York Times says, "'Little Brother' isn't shy about its intent to disseminate subversive ideas to a young audience." The novel comes with two afterword essays by cryptographer and computer security specialist Bruce Schneier, and hacker Andrew "bunnie" Huang, and has a bibliography of techno-countercultural writings, from Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" to Schneier’s "Applied Cryptography".Makers (novel)
Makers is a novel by Canadian-British science fiction author Cory Doctorow released in October 2009. It was nominated for the Prometheus Award.
The book focuses on a near-future imagining of members of the maker culture, a group Doctorow characterizes as being composed of "people who hack hardware, business-models, and living arrangements to discover ways of staying alive and happy even when the economy is falling down the toilet".The novel is available free on the author's website, as a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA download. It is also published in traditional paper form by HarperVoyager. The UK hardcover is 416 pages long.Parsec Awards
The Parsec Awards are a set of annual awards created to recognize excellence in science fiction podcasts and podcast novels. The awards were created by Mur Lafferty, Tracy Hickman and Michael R. Mennenga and awarded by FarPoint Media. They were first presented in 2006 at DragonCon and have since become "one of the most recognizable honors in science and fiction podcasting".Nominations are accepted from the listening public annually in each of the categories. The list is vetted for eligibility by the steering committee, before producers are invited to submit samples of work for consideration by a panel of judges. The panel reduces the list of nominees to five finalists in each category. The finalists' work is submitted for judging and the winner is selected by that panel of authors, podcasters, and others knowledgeable in the field of speculative fiction, podcasting, and/or publishing. Past finalist judges have included Catherine Asaro, Charles de Lint, Cory Doctorow, and Evo Terra.Pirate Cinema (novel)
Pirate Cinema is a novel by Cory Doctorow. It was released in October 2012. The novel is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license and is available free on the author's website.
The novel is set in a dystopian near-future Britain where the government is effectively controlled by media corporations. The main character, Trent McCauley, has had his internet access cut for reassembling downloaded films on his computer and, living rough on the streets of London, is trying to fight the introduction of a new draconian copyright law.
Pirate Cinema won the 2013 Prometheus Award.The US hardcover is 384 pages long.This book was also featured as an e-book in the Humble eBook Bundle. The bundle raised more than $1.2 million, with customers paying an average amount of $14.29 for the bundle.Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a contemporary fantasy novel by Canadian author Cory Doctorow. It was published in June 2005, concurrently released on the Internet under a Creative Commons license, free for download in several formats including ASCII and PDF. It is Doctorow's third novel.
The novel was chosen to launch the Sci Fi Channel's book club, Sci Fi Essentials (now defunct).The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (2001) by Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder was published as part of The Complete Idiot's Guide series of non-fiction manuals released by Alpha Books. It was the first non-fiction book by Doctorow, a novelist.The Rapture of the Nerds
The Rapture of the Nerds is a 2012 novel by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. It was released on September 4, 2012 through Tor Books and as an ebook, DRM free, under the CC BY-NC-ND. The book can also be downloaded for free.Walkaway (Doctorow novel)
Walkaway is an adult science fiction novel by Cory Doctorow, published by Head of Zeus and Tor Books in April 2017.
Set in our near-future, it is a story of walking away from "non-work", and surveillance and control by a brutal, immensely rich oligarchical elite; love and romance; a post-scarcity gift economy; revolution and eventual war; and a means of finally ending death.With a Little Help
With a Little Help (CreateSpace, 2010, ISBN 1-4565-7634-8) is a collection consisting of mostly previously published science fiction short stories and novellas by Cory Doctorow, with one new short story. This is Doctorow's third published collection, following Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present. Each story includes an afterword by the author, and the anthology includes an introduction by Jonathan Coulton and an afterword by Russell Galen.