For The Win: A Novel by Cory DoctorowFor The Win: A Novel by Cory Doctorow

For The Win: A Novel

byCory Doctorow

Hardcover | May 11, 2010

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In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power-including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once-a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Little Brother, and the co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing. His adult science fiction novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He has been named one of the Web's twenty-...
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Title:For The Win: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 8.48 × 5.79 × 1.57 inPublished:May 11, 2010Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765322161

ISBN - 13:9780765322166

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dissapointed. After reading "Little Brother" I was expecting another great novel, but I was quite dissapointed. At first I though maybe it had to do with my lack of interest in economics, but after lending it to a few friends [most of which became so bored that they did not bother finishing it], I decided that it wasn't me -this book is just inferior to "Little Brother". I tried to get into the story, but I believe my expectations were just too high. Though some parts were interesting I did have trouble finishing this book simply because it could not hold my interest once captured.
Date published: 2011-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from One to watch for sure I remember in high school, there was one particular science teacher. He seemed like a good enough teacher, and the subject was interesting, but I always used to feel irritated by him because his whole technique seemed to be to try and be "cool" --to be one of the students, to "speak our language." I think I ended up with a B in science that year --mostly because that class became something I wanted to get through rather than actually care about. More on that in a moment. Cory Doctorow's novel FOR THE WIN is a good book. It's a strong story, very well-thought out and detailed. The characters are great, and Doctorow draws them with such human dimensions that at times, I found myself moved to tears by what they experience. The subject matter is relevant --incredibly relevant, in a world moving more and more toward a globalized, technocratic capitalism gone mad-- and at times, Doctorow's writing is outstanding. He's able to touch nerves in a way that borders on the epic. I think, though, that Doctorow is his own worst enemy. While the novel could've used some serious editing --it might've been a hundred pages shorter, with fewer descriptions of smoky, decrepit Internet cafes and their sketchy owners, and there were a few actual spelling/typing mistakes-- in the end its length or repetitive moments didn't take away from FOR THE WIN at all. What does is Doctorow's narrative voice. At times he's outright heavy-handed, interrupting the narrative to give "econ 101" style lectures on how the world of finance works. These moments weren't that helpful, and I usually found myself wishing I could just get back to the story. But even this isn't the worst problem. Where the book really falls flat is in Doctorow's use of base colloquialism. Using words like "crapalicious" and "redonkulous" (often within the econ 101 lectures), Doctorow rarely passes up a chance to describe body odour, the smell of urine after too many cheese sandwiches or other bodily realities. It feels cheap, sophomoric --as if the narrative voice is trying to be hip and modern and cool rather than unfold a really good story. A lot like that science teacher back in high school. And it's a pity, because this is actually a really good book. I think Cory Doctorow might become a writer of major importance if he is able to find a strong and sure voice to tell stories like this. FOR THE WIN could be major young adult literature. It deserves to be. Matthew, Jie, Ashok, Lu, Mala, Big Sister Nor and Wei Dong --especially Wei Dong-- are characters that will stay with me for a long, long time. They deserve to exist within an epic novel worthy of an A+ instead of a B. Cory Doctorow is worth watching though. And this book, in the end, is well worth reading.
Date published: 2010-08-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Economics 101 Each of the characters in this novel has something to do with the virtual economies of online gaming. The virtual economies interact with the real economy, which is kind of virtual anyway; all of the economies, virtual or not, have real workers; and all of the workers, no matter what economy, share similar concerns and issues. Since most of the characters in this novel are workers, the reader sees the same problems mirrored over and over. With me so far? I'm making it sound confusing, but Cory Doctorow doesn't--he draws a very clear and fascinating picture of workers' place in the economy and what happens to people and societies when work is devalued and workers are unprotected. The dizzying number of similar characters does a lot, in this regard, because quite simply there are a dizzying number of workers around the world. As a novel, though, it falls a bit flat; what distinguishes the characters from each other is mainly their ethnicities and locations, not their personalities. The plot drives some social change, but we don't see much in the way of personal change. I'm sympathetic to Doctorow's aims but the book feels too didactic to succeed as fiction. That said, Neal Stephenson writes the same kind of thing, only more so, and hasn't lost his audience yet either (including me...); it's hard not to be engaged by someone who's clearly so knowledgeable about a subject, and so passionate about the political ramifications.
Date published: 2010-06-28

Editorial Reviews

"A terrific read ... A cogently written, passionately felt argument." -The New York Times on Little Brother"Awesome.He's terrific at finding the human aura shimmering around technology." -The Los Angeles Times on Little Brother"A believable and frightening tale of a near-future San Francisco . Filled with sharp dialogue and detailed descriptions. within a tautly crafted fictional framework." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Little Brother"One of the year's most important books." -Chicago Tribune on Little Brother"A wonderful, important book.I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year." -Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book on Little Brother"A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion-as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane." -Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies, Pretties, and Specials on Little Brother