Recently, novelist and blogger Cory Doctorow announced the release of his new novel, Makers — with a price tag of zero.
Makers tells the story of a group of hardware hackers who fall in with microfinancing venture capitalists and reinvent the American economy after a total economic collapse, and who find themselves swimming with sharks, fighting with gangsters, and leading a band of global techno-revolutionaries.
The story begins with a press conference led by Landon Kettlewell, CEO of the newly merged Duracell and Kodak. Rather than corporate business as usual, its new executive team has decided to bankroll thousands of well, makers, simultaneously loaning them money and investing in their startups — emulating the way microloans help to stimulate third world economies. Covering the development, intrepid tech reporter Suzanne Church, who has landed a choice gig as an embedded journalist.
Not only is the story both timely and fascinating, Doctorow has chosen to publish the novel on the Tor website, essentially giving it away for free.
We’ll be serializing the entirety of the novel, with a new installment every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, until the whole thing is finished, sometime in January 2010.
If reading a book online isn’t your thing, or if you just want to support such efforts, you can buy the printed version of the book this fall. (It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.)