EPS Review #136 - Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow, Tor 2003, 208pp.

I think this was an Amazon recommendation. It sounded like fun, with some increasingly usual SF tropes: post-scarcity world with indefinite lifespans via brain-copies into clones, a reputational money replacement called "whuffie", direct brain interface to the net, consensual micro-governments by ad-hoc committees. And it mostly takes place at Disney World.

Amazon reviews complained, inevitably, about poor characterisation, but it is no worse than in many good SF books. My main complaint is that the plot just did not make much sense. There were some effective corporate-rivalry bits at Disney, but not enough to explain the "murder" of the main character or his subsequent behavior. There is a nod to Neal Stephenson (a "Snow Crash Spectacular parade" in Fantasyland), and there is a complimentary blurb by Rudy Rucker, but this just made me pine for the originality and humor of those two authors.

The book might appeal to Disney aficionados, but I learned no cool Disney trivia, except maybe that the Haunted Mansion was built around its huge pane of glass. You can read it for free if you want.