Enlarge / Let it burn: the cover of Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway, a novel of building a new world from the ashes of the old post climate-apocylapse.
Science fiction has long served as a platform for the hashing out of big social, political and economic issues, either metaphorically or literally.

Cory Doctorow has never been shy of speaking their names directly, whether examining the implications of the surveillance state or the shifting of social and economic forces caused by technology.
In his first novel for an adult audience in eight years, Doctorow revisits many of the themes he’s written about in the past, and he refines them into a compelling, cerebral “hard” science fiction narrative of a not-too distant future that ranks with some of the best of the genre.
Walkaway (from Tor Books, which releases on April 25 in hardcover) is a very Doctorow-y book.
Intensely smart and tech-heavy, it still manages maintains the focus on its human (or in some cases, post-human) protagonists. Walkaway is also full of big ideas about both the future and our current condition, and it has enough philosophical, social, and political commentary lurking just below the surface to fuel multiple graduate theses.
At its heart, Walkaway is an optimistic disaster novel—”in as much as it’s a book about people who, in the face of disaster, don’t disintegrate into CHUDs but instead jump right into the fray to figure out how they can help each other,” Doctorow explained to Ars. “That, to me, is the uplifting part—it’s not a question of whether bad things will happen or won’t happen, but what we’ll do when disaster strikes.”
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