Little Brother

July 11, 2008 at 6:47 am Leave a comment

If you’re a technogeek, hacker, computer programmer, or just wish you were, you’ve got to check out “Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow. 

In a world where every high school tracks its students not just by their class schedules, but with cameras that track their gait as they walk down the halls, and with free laptops designed to record their every keystroke, Marcus Yallow can’t take the pressure anymore.  Using his talent for camera evasion and computer hacks, Marcus and his friends ditch school to play Harajuku Fun Madness, an alternate reality game that requires you to pick up clues online and find where they lead in the real world. 

Running through the San Francisco streets in search of the next clue, they never saw the terrorist attack coming.  All they know is that the explosions they hear can’t be anything good, and because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they’re picked up and taken to a government prison run by the Department of Homeland Security.

When they’re released, the world Marcus knew is gone and San Francisco has become a police state using everything in its power to track citizens in the real world and online.  After what he went through, Marcus can’t take it lying down and decides to start an underground network designed to take down the DHS and return the city to its citizens.

Once you start this book you will not want to stop reading, and you won’t be able to help wondering where the real technology ends and the author’s imagination begins.  The events are scarily plausible and I was left wondering what I could do or be willing to do if I was ever caught in the crossfire of a similar situation through no fault of my own, like Marcus was.  Hacking for a cause never looked so good.

“Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow is on the shelf now.


Entry filed under: book reviews, new books.

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