Posted by Patrick on September 20, 2008
I finally just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.  I’m really happy to finally be done with it because I had a really tough time putting it down: “just another chapter and I’ll go to bed”, I promised myself repeatedly on the same night. Finally I’ll be getting more sleep again! ^_^
Little Brother is modern dystopian story with themes similar to those of Orwell’s 1984. The setting, however is present day San-Fransisco. Like 1984, the government goes all surveillance freak on the population. Unlike 1984, the events leading to this extremism are extremely plausible, and the technology used to achieve it already exists.
Appart from being an excellent story, Cory, through the main character (a 17-year old highschool senior), teaches us about really cool stuff like cryptography, security, and the internet in general. Its thesis, that security is the opposite of secrecy, is extremely well developped. This is the kind of books I wished I had read when I was 15 years old, but very much enjoyed (and will probably read again) at 30…
What’s more, Cory’s book is available for free in e-book form from his website.  Cory also organized a project for people to donate books to schools.  I signed us up: scroll to the bottom of that page to see our school there.