Cory Doctorow: "I, Row-Boat" (Flurb: 2006); "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" (Jim Baen's Universe: 2006)
(Student response to either/both of these short stories are due by 4/16/08)
On "I, Row-Boat":
Both stories are in this collection:
To read the story: Click Here
To listen to the story: Click Here
My first reaction when I read it a month ago:
Just when I thought my course long research and teaching of the history of Science Fiction short stories this semester was leaving me somewhat jaded... I came across Cory Doctorow's fascinating short story "I, Row-Boat" (2006), originally published in the first issue of Flurb, and which I found in Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection. Robbie the Row-Boat is one of my all-time favorite characters and Doctorow's story through it's vision of uniquely uplifted sentiences, AI avatars and downloaded humans gives us another opportunity to ponder the meaning of it all.
Then I popped online to do some research and I come across this report:
Constructing Life Creates Questions of Ethics
Talk of the Nation (NPR)
Scientists are getting closer to creating artificial life in the lab. But is society ready for custom-made organisms? Synthetic biology has the potential to dramatically change fields from agriculture to medicine to zoology. But how will society cope with the ability for a lone researcher to — for example — build a polio virus from scratch in a private lab?
Paul Rabinow, author of Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology, and Drew Endy, an MIT professor of biological engineering, talk with guest host Joe Palca about the promise and potential perils of synthetic biology. What protections need to be in place as research proceeds?
To Listen to the Episode
More on biotechnology
On "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth":
Our copy is from:
I also noticed it is in my copy of this book:
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
for the audio fans: listen to it here
and if anyone is fluent in french you might want to read it in translation: French Fan-Translation
More about Cory Doctorow:
Information want to be free—and so does writer Cory Doctorow, who celebrates the new technologies that will change science fiction forever (Interview in Sci Fi Weekly: 2006)
Tim O'Reilly: Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution (Cory Doctorow recommends this article and is also an advocate of Creative Commons)
Cory Doctorow and JT discuss copyright issues (Kottke.org: 2007)
Boing Boing Cory Doctorow co-edits this popular and important online journal.
Craphound Doctorow's personal website which includes this bio (scan down and check out the organizations he serves)
Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia (Well: 2001)
Wikipedia: Cory Doctorow
Microsoft Research DRM talk (Redmond, CA: 2004)
Video Talk About his Short Story Collection Overclocked