Cory Doctorow’s free e-book "Content"
October 2, 2008 | 1:12 pm
About a month ago, Cory Doctorow released the text of his latest book, Content, on-line for free, as he usually does. Unlike prior books, this is a nonfiction collection, gathering together the text of speeches, presentations, and essays he has written, as well as all of his Forbes and other magazine articles. Most of them will already be familiar to those who follow Doctorow’s on-line writings, but it is nice to have them collected in one place.
The book makes a nice collection of essays, arranged by thematic content rather than date. They are interesting articles written in Doctorow’s usual ebullient style, but since they were not written with the intention of being collected together and discuss overlapping subjects, a number of them cover the same ground as others quite repeatedly.
Also, many of the essays as originally written (most notably, the Forbes articles) contained hypertext links to referenced or supporting material. In the book, these are naturally missing.
When the e-book was released, I went in and did an eReader conversion of it the way I did for Jeffrey Carver’s Chaos Chronicles books. Along the way, I fixed a number of formatting issues and typos, changed the title of a Heinlein story Doctorow had gotten wrong to the one he actually meant, and added back a chunk of text that was missing from the manuscript version of one of the Forbes articles. (As far as I know, none of the other conversions, or even the originals, have been similarly corrected at this time.)
My eReader version of the book can be found along with the others at Doctorow’s Content download page. For those who use DropBook themselves and might wish to customize it for their own reading, the raw PML source file—which I release under the same Creative Commons US Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license as the book itself—can be downloaded here.