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EP Flash: Printcrime

By Cory Doctorow.
Read by Karen Roman.

Da. What they did to him. When he was done, he looked like he’d been brawling with an entire rugby side. They brought him out the door and let the newsies get a good look at him as they tossed him in the car. All the while a spokesman told the world that my Da’s organized-crime bootlegging operation had been responsible for at least 20 million in contraband, and that my Da, the desperate villain, had resisted arrest.

Rated PG. Contains moderate violence and very slippery slopes.

Comments (19)

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  1. [...] My short-short story Printcrime, originally published in Nature Magazine (and since reprinted in my brand new short story collection, Overclocked) has just been adapted for audio by the brilliant SF podcast show, Escape Pod. Download it free! The coppers smashed my father’s printer when I was eight. I remember the hot, cling-film-in-a-microwave smell of it, and Da’s look of ferocious concentration as he filled it with fresh goop, and the warm, fresh-baked feel of the objects that came out of it. [...]

  2. phignewton says:

    Cory’s work always seems totter on the edge of being dogmatic propaganda for his views on the free use of technology.

    We have to give him his due though, Cory may have an axe to grind but he’s not just spinning out ideas for our amusement, he’s a globe spanning super-active agent of the new order, devoting his life to the defense of our rights as computer owning, torrent wielding citizens of the age.

    His portraits of a hyperactive, anarchistic, evolved future are so totally removed from the dystopian, corporate controlled, cynical predictions of past generations of sci-fi writers… that one can imagine for a moment that the tide is turning, perhaps the human spirit isnt dooomed to destruction at the hands of pervasive technology, perhaps our use of open source clients and blog software will save us! As such, yes, more power to him!

    um… oh the story. There was one of those ‘future technology’ gag pictures at the back of wired recently… a parent [perhaps] on christmas eve [maybe], creating a shiny new basketball with some sort of nano compiler machine, downloading it off walmart.com for a hefty fee… that isnt the future is it Mr. Doctorow?! Please say it ain’t so!

  3. Paul James says:

    Enjoyed the podcast very much. Gives me a real sense of British Life as I remember it. Growing up in Wales sandwiched between Doctor Who and Coronation Street.

  4. slic says:

    Mr. Doctorow is one of my favourite writers, and phignewton stole all the good comments about him and his writing – I’d just add that I’ve always felt Mr. Doctorow’s story are in someway about “sticking it to the man.”

    I enjoyed the story, and I’m just glad it wasn’t included in the Contest ;-)

  5. MadJo says:

    I liked this story.

    And a funny anecdote, after I got done listening to the story, I listened to another podcast (I believe it was ‘Buzz Out Loud’), and they claimed that in the near future it might be possible to ‘print’ your own stuff. At least there are people working on 3d printers.
    So, it seems not to be so unbelievable as it may have sounded.

  6. Simon says:

    I thought this story was great.. Lots of fun, nice dystopia-Britain, I like that.

    However, I had some trouble with the reading, I had to listen to the first few minutes of this 3 times in order for it all to go in. For a moment I thought it might be that the reader was British, but then I realised that I am from that little island, so that wasn’t it. Basically it was just read too fast… This should have been given a more measured delivery – when I, an Englishman, am having trouble making out the slang terms and Anglicisms then it’s all going a bit Dick Van Dyke…

    Keep these coming… When the new nazi’s are overthrown, the fires are going to burn on The Strand, and Whitehall will run red…

  7. Pete S says:

    Loved the story, loved the narration. Of course since I’m an American any kind of female British accent catches my attention in all kinds of ways. :)

  8. oddpod says:

    is the narater a bono-e-fide brit?
    it sounded a bit forced ,
    but then we dont get many cocknys for me to compare it to round hear, in the northan wastes

  9. phignewton says:

    awww.. i’m sorry slic. I’ve been pinning down hapless bystanders and ‘explaining’ to them about cory doctorrow for a while now so i couldnt resist.

  10. spaldi01 says:

    I found the story OK if a little hard to follow, but I guess that is down to personal taste. I did not like the Mary Poppins language that was used it just rang as untrue and distracted from the story. Coppers! Truncheons! Da! Come on.

  11. [...] Cory Doctorow: My short-short story Printcrime, originally published in Nature Magazine (and since reprinted in my brand new short story collection, Overclocked) has just been adapted for audio by the brilliant SF podcast show, Escape Pod. Download it free! The coppers smashed my father’s printer when I was eight. I remember the hot, cling- film- in- a- microwave smell of it, and Da’s look of ferocious concentration as he filled it with fresh goop, and the warm, fresh-baked feel of the objects that came out of it. [...]

  12. [...] * Others‘ podcasts of his work, in this case Printcrime. Printcrime was originally published in Nature Magazine, and now part of his latest short story collection, Overclocked. [...]

  13. [...] Cory’s recent collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present. It was also podcast on Escape Pod. addthis_url = [...]

  14. [...] Printcrime by Cory Doctorow looks at the implications of easy reproduction on a scarcity economy and the lengths to which society goes to ensure scarcity. And it’s written by Cory Doctorow (yeah, that Cory Doctorow). Nano Comes to Clifford Falls by Nancy Kress examines what happens when easy, reliable replication comes to a small town. [...]

  15. Howie Feltersnatch says:

    Once again, Cory Doctorow demonstrates his amazing ability to take a subject you’d think would be boring–like yardsale hunting, VC companies, or in this case IP rights–and by adding just a few minor science fiction elements, transform it into something really astoundingly boring! It’s a gift. How do you manage to bore someone with a five-minute story? Doctorow manages.

  16. scatterbrain says:

    First time I listened to this, it sounded like a load of crap.

    Now I’ve read about what it was about on Doctorow’s website and listened to it again, its now post-singularity crap.

  17. Sridharaya says:

    Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it