New York Timesbestselling author Cory Doctorow'sUnauthorized Bread—a novella about immigration, the toxicity of economic and technological stratification, and fighting against all odds to survive and prosper
From the outside, the Boston-based subsidized apartments reserved for low-income tenants in a new technologically-advanced building seem like a dream come true. But soon the program’s newest recipients, Salima—a young woman recently released from a refugee camp in Arizona—and her friends with similiar backgrounds, discover themselves living in a technologically fortified parallel universe.
Not only are the elevators digitally programmed to economically discriminate against the building’s tenants (the low-income residents can only use the elevators if they’re not occupied by anyone from the wealthy side of the building), but the apartments’ appliances are designed to extract revenue. The fridge won't chill unauthorized groceries. The toaster won't toast unauthorized bread.
When hedge funds tank the companies behind these electronic "conveniences," they stop working altogether. Salima then takes it upon herself to lead a dangerous jailbreaking underground, training a child army that liberates the building's appliances, even those hated elevators. However, the stakes rise when the group finds themselves faced with the danger of losing everything they've built and being deported back to their war-torn countries.
CORY DOCTOROW is a coeditor ofBoing Boing, a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an MIT Media Lab Research Associate and a visiting professor of Computer Science at the Open University. His award-winning novelLittle Brotherand its sequelHomelandwere aNew York Times bestsellers. Born and raised in Canada, he lives in Los Angeles.
“Is Doctorow’s fictional utopia bravely idealistic or bitterly ironic? The answer is in our own hands. A dystopian future is in no way inevitable;Walkaway reminds us that the world we choose to build is the one we’ll inhabit. Technology empowers both the powerful and the powerless, and if we want a world with more liberty and less control, we’re going to have to fight for it.”—Edward Snowden
“The darker the hour, the better the moment for a rigorously-imagined utopian fiction.Walkaway is now the best contemporary example I know of, its utopia glimpsed after fascinatingly-extrapolated revolutionary struggle. A wonderful novel: everything we’ve come to expect from Cory Doctorow and more.”—William Gibson
“TheBhagavad Gita of hacker/maker/burner/open source/git/gnu/wiki/99%/adjunctfaculty/Anonymous/shareware/thingiverse/cypherpunk/LGTBQIA*/squatter/upcycling culture...zipped it down into a pretty damned tight techno-thriller with a lot of sex in it.”—Neal Stephenson
“Cory Doctorow is one of our most important science fiction writers, because he’s also a public intellectual in the old style: he brings the news and explains it, making clearer the confusions of our wild current moment. His fiction is always the heart of his work, and this is his best book yet, describing vividly the revolutionary beginnings of a new way of being. In a world full of easy dystopias, he writes the hard utopia, and what do you know, his utopia is both more thought-provoking and more fun.”—Kim Stanley Robinson
"Thrilling and unexpected....A truly visionary techno-thriller that not only depicts how we might live tomorrow, but asks why we don’t already."Kirkus(starred review)
"Doctorow has envisioned a fascinating world...This intriguing take on a future that might be right around the corner is bound to please." —Library Journal
"Memorable and engaging. ...Ultimately suffused with hope." —Booklist