I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. This is because I am far too aware of who Cory Doctorow is — it sets up expectations. I’m glad my fears weren’t realised. This novel was kind of fun, actually. It revolves around Lester and Perry, two really clever guys, and Suzanne, a reporter who follows their ups and downs.
It does a ‘what happens next?’ kind of story, following the dot-com boom and bust. It seems a plausible vision of our near future — I know 3D printers are pretty damn exciting things and Neil would probably worship the ground I walk on if I could ever afford to surprise him with one.
That’s the beauty of Makers — it takes things we (or the nerdy / geeky among us, at least) know already exist (the aforementioned 3D printers, Disney) and applies them to a more cyberpunkish world. More stuff, more disposable stuff!
(The other thing that was really fascinating was the fatkins sub-plot. I can totally see it happening in our world of quick fixes.)
All in all, if you’re a bit of a techy person — by that I mean you’re not the ‘Apple mass-market consumer electronics are so innovative’ type — Makers is the novel for you. It reminded me a little of Neal Stephenson’s work, and that’s high praise.