Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘I Love Paree’ by Cory Doctorow and Michael Skeet

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As you might expect from Doctorow, an extract of this story is available online where he comments:

I wrote the first part of this story as a sort-of response to Heinlein et al’s “bootcamp” stories; that is, stories about personal transformation brought on by violent, abusive training experiences. Having had some bootcamp-experiences (Clarion, for one, not to metion working on behind-deadline software projects), I had some opinions on the subject.

To me, it reads more like it is directly inspired by the brilliant Bruce Sterling but while it picks up the same themes Sterling uses, it isn’t written with the same quality. It is a glib story – one section is entitled Full Metal Baguette – and it is unable to reconcil this cheap delivery with the seriousness of what happens in the story. I think this is reflected in the fact Doctorow thinks that working on behind deadline software projects gives him experience of revolutionary forced labour.

Quality: **
Wit: ***

I actually like some of Doctorow’s early work, particularly Down And Out In the Magic Kingdom, but his recent fiction and non-fiction suggests he has undergone a process of dumbening.

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Written by Martin

10 December 2009 at 13:23

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