[Doctorow-L] New Little Brother/Homeland edition is out today!
doctorow at craphound.com
Tue Jul 7 10:27:32 EDT 2020
Today marks the publication of a new edition of Little Brother (2008)
and its sequel, Homeland (2013), with a gorgeous cover by Will Staehle
and a spectacular intro by Edward Snowden.
I wrote Little Brother in a kind of white heat, finishing the first
draft in eight weeks exactly, from first having the idea to typing "The
End" (while away on holiday for my anniversary, at 5AM).
It reflected my fear and rage at the co-option of networked tech for
surveillance and control, and the indifferent political response to
these alarming developments.
Alas, this fear and rage futureproofed the tale, as we continue to
regulate tech badly and inadequately, to treat it variously as a video
on demand service, or a pornography delivery service, or a
radicalization vector, rather than as the nervous system of the 21st
But I have hope this is changing: the pandemic, in particular, has
shattered our complacency about tech, made us realize that everything we
do involves the net, and shortly, everything we do will require it. It
must be taken seriously, and its defects treated as alarming.
And while the pandemic marks a phase-change in our relations to tech, it
comes as the result of a long, steady, mounting tech reform movement.
I wrote Little Brother after the AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein walked
into EFF's Shotwell St offices and revealed that his employer had built
a secret NSA listening post inside its Folsom St switching enter.
This sparked lawsuits and hearings, including the notorious Senate
hearing in which Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, "Does the NSA collect
any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
And in which Clapper perjured himself, answering, "No, sir. … Not
We knew he was lying. So did a young, idealistic technologist who had
washed out of Special Forces training after a severe injury and ended up
working for the CIA and NSA.
That technologist was Edward Snowden, and the spectacle of Clapper's
lies to Congress and the American people prompted him to do something
that would alter the course of our history. It also sent him into exile.
And when he left his Hong Kong hotel room and went underground, he had a
book in his carry-on: Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother.
Macmillan reissued Little Brother/Homeland between a single set of
covers as a run-up to October's publication of ATTACK SURFACE, a third,
standalone book about technologists work surveilling protest movements,
and how they rationalize to themselves.
It's a story about comparmentalization, self-deception, amends-making
and redemption, and it addresses itself to the ways that individual
actions relate to systemic changes: how movements are made up of
individuals but are bigger than individuals.
When Snowden agreed to write the intro to this reissue, I was delighted
and honored, even moreso than when I saw that footage of him putting
HOMELAND into his bag in Laura Poitras's outstanding, Oscar-winning doc,
I was also delighted to have the chance to make some small corrections
to the text, reflecting my own evolution in thought and language - this
is the author's preferred text.
You can get it at any bookstore, but if you're after a
signed/personalized copy, the good folks at Dark Delicacies are taking
orders and I'm going to to drop in and deface them to order:
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 195 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
More information about the Doctorow-L