Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow
On The Skids In The Transhuman FutureJules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the keeping of a network of "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.Now, though, the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents, and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself. Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war....


Reviewed: 2020-05-27

I really enjoyed the setting. The plot was fine. The characters were all kind of jerks. (Not badly written, but not liking them made it hard to like the book too much.)

Reviewed: 2019-01-12
Reviewed: 2017-01-29
Perhaps closer to 2.5 stars

There is a lot jammed into this 200-page novel, and I would have liked to see a lot more of it fleshed out. The writing didn't flow that smoothly for me, sometimes leaving me confused as to what's going on, and it made me hate the word "surreptitiously" for a bit there. Some bits reminded me of Scott Westerfeld's "Extras," which was fun. There's definitely a lot to unpack here, it just reads more like a draft than a fully-realized world or set of characters.
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