The “Little Brother” 200 — fighting small-mindedness in our schools

Attack Scene in Little Brother

My friend Cory Doctorow is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed, bestselling, literary SF author. He’s one of my great inspirations in life — I first met Cory not long after his short story “Craphound” (now the name of his Web site, here) had appeared in the March 1998 issue of Science Fiction Age. You can read it today in Cory’s short story collection “A Place So Foreign and 8 More”: Link

Cory had a dream to be the exact person he is today, and he maintained a single-minded focus to make that happen. Cory and I worked together first in my Web advertising agency, and then we were co-founders in OpenCola. I still remember Cory working on first drafts of “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” on the train to Kingston as we were going to visit our client Queen’s School of Business. That book became Cory’s first published novel, and made it onto Jeff Bezos’ “10 favorite books of 2003 list”. Cory is a textbook example of “you get what you wish for”, and Cory wished really, really hard. And he made it — I consider myself to be privileged to be a small part of his journey.

His “About the Author” byline on posts on his co-edited world-famous blog Boing Boing is:

I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it’s the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

Now Cory has achieved another important authorial milestone — banned author. This is always an important part of an author’s arc, because it means you are writing things that make people uncomfortable, and that is a very, very important thing to do in this world.

Cory talks about the ban on Boing Boing: Link and in this video:

It seems that the high-minded principal of Booker T Washington High in Pensacola FL has cancelled the school’s One School/One Book summer reading program rather than letting all the kids go through with the previously approved assignment to read “Little Brother“, a bestselling YA novel by Cory.

With Cory and Tor Books’ help, the teachers are fighting back. Tor Books is sending 200 free copies of the paperback of “Little Brother” to Booker T Washington High School, because it’s the first school where any of Cory’s novels have been challenged by the school administration. Go Cory!