Locus Award nominee 2014.
In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco — an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.
A few years later, California's economy collapses, but
Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading
politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges
from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a
Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and
governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff — and if Masha goes missing,
Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha
being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured
Marcus years earlier.
Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him — but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.
Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother — a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.
Cory Doctorow (born 1971) is a Canadian author.
Cory Doctorow is a coeditor of Boing Boing and the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online, and Locus. He has won the Locus Award three times, been nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula, won the Campbell Award, and was named one of the Web's twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He hopes you'll use technology to change the world.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.