Cory Doctorow seminar

by Henry on May 10, 2017

Cory Doctorow’s new book, Walkaway, a novel, an argument and a utopia, all bound up into one, is out. And we’re running a seminar on it. The participants and their posts are all below.

  • Henry Farrell blogs at Crooked Timber. No Exit.



chris heinz 04.26.17 at 2:26 am

I totally scored, my old friend who owns a bookstore gave me their prerelease copy a month ago. I felt it would be impolite to post/comment on it before its release. I wrote up my thoughts today.


nnyhav 04.26.17 at 4:00 pm


Guy Harris 05.10.17 at 7:08 pm


An interesting exchange from the discussion you cite:

Doctorow: I think that a signature stfnal move is to mix in some technological whoppers with some truths and hope that the reader doesn’t notice ’em, they’re protective coloration.

VanderMeer: Ha! Yes, I like that, a lot. Because fiction is implausible anyway. Even the most realistic fiction is just an approximation anyway.

Doctorow: So I’ve got all this plausible utopian business — material objects designed to gracefully decompose back into the material stream, networks designed for censorship resistance and graceful failure modes, etc., and then there’s a hand-waving whopper, the idea of consciousness uploading, which is described as though it was just as plausible as the rest of it, though, of course, it’s purely metaphorical and completely incoherent on a neurological or technological level.

I think responses to various posts in the seminar have wondered about the “consciousness uploading” bit; Doctorow’s explicitly saying something on the order of “take it seriously but not literally” here.


Doug Weinfield 05.12.17 at 12:52 am

The link to Doctorow’s comments isn’t working.


Doctor Science 05.29.17 at 7:08 pm

In future, I (for one) would really, really, REALLY appreciate it if these seminars were timed for one month *after* the release of the book, to give more of us a chance to actually get it, read it, and think about it. In almost all cases, by the time I’ve gotten the book & read it the comments have closed.

As it is, for most of us the essays are going to be “lectures for students who haven’t done the reading”, not “the start of conversation.”

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