When I got back to the library, I checked out Homeland even though it is a sequel to his earlier, well-received book, Little Brother which I haven’t read (yet!). In Homeland, young, extremely tech-savvy hackers wage cyberwarfare against shadowy forces that are determined to thwart the hackers’ attempts to release a massive trove of documents that incriminate various government factions. Doctorow’s books seem very prescient and timely given the recent news about Bradley Manning/WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden.
I learned a lot about Virtual Machines – basically a computer inside a computer used to hide activity, Paranoid Android programs, and other ways that Doctorow’s characters try to protect their anonymity and their resources online. Whether all of these things exist in reality – I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Doctorow has written an updated spy novel with espionage carried out via covert hacking and much of the action occurring online.
In keeping with his stance on freedom of information and against restrictive copyright law, Doctorow’s books are published under library!