Cover picture of Overclocked bookSince reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, I’ve been a fan of Cory Doctorow’s writing. Now, there’s Overclocked, a collection of short stories. The Kirkus review bills these books as “computer-related and bulging with knowing SF references”.

Overclocked is available for purchase at traditional booksellers and for free download. Each short story is available in several formats, notably as PDFs and podcasts.

What a great foundation for a lesson in Creative Commons! Here’s writing that’s also packaged as a dead-trees format, that presumably will make money for Mr. Doctorow, and he’s also giving it away. It defies all that I ever learned about making a living in this world. Yet, by most measures, Doctorow’s incredibly successful.

By the by, I’m always looking for computer-related writing to use with my computer classes so this collection is going on my list. To use at school, I look for short writing (full length novels are too difficult to include in a class not devoted to the topic) Other writings I like to use with computer classes:

  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (excellent lessons on a life lived online & social networking)
  • Wired magazine articles (especially “Mother Earth Motherboard” by Neal Stephenson that chronicles the construction of a fiber optic Internet cable around the world: great writing and great lessons on how data flows on the Internet)
  • Takedown by Tsutomu Shimomura (the story of Kevin Mitnick’s capture for hacking, used with pro-Mitnick web sources to go along with Internet security lessons)
  • All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward (ok, so I cheat on this one and show the Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford movie, which gets teens excited about Watergate and journalism’s role)