Review: Part One of "With A Little Help"

Cory Doctorow is one if my go-to sci-fi writers: I’m always completely caught up in his characters. His writing flows so well and I find it hard to put his books down.

His latest collection of short stories, With A Little Help, isn’t just a book: it’s an experiment in a new business model. In the spirit of trying new things, I’m going to write a short review of each part. Here’s the first.

The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away

In a sentance:

A data mining monk gets into some Orwellian trouble when he needs to leave the monastery to chase down an Anomaly in the data.

I was completely caught up in protagonist Lawrence’s adventures, but in the end the plot left me disappointed. It’s basically Anathem meets 1984, without the depth of either.

It’s amazing that Cory gets so many ideas into 80-odd flowing pages of engrossing fiction, and if you haven’t read Anathem or 1984 it would be a great read. But it borrows too much from those books without bringing any ideas of its own for it to be anything more than a bit of fun.

Next up, part 2: The Right Book

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