The first novel from digeratus Cory Doctorow, creater of the omnipresent and slightly silly boingboing. The paperback edition is neon-ish green and whimsically illustrated, with a back-cover blurb you can read in the writeup above; the interior typeface is clear and well-designed and the pages are nice and crisp.

The story takes place in a utopian nanotechnological future where death and material scarcity have been eliminated and social reputation is continually tabulated as wuffie, a hyperkinetic but believable Florida a la Snow Crash (in fact, there's a Disneyworld parade in one chapter featuring Hiro Protagonist and company) where the inventions are cool, the characters are snappy, the breeze is fresh, and everyone smokes crack (it's decaf).

It's a great book, full of fun, suspense, and SF clairvoyence. Superficially a cat-and-mouse story about power struggles at the Disney World adhocracy, the text goes deep into veiled ruminations on life, consciousness, friendship, love, and marketing. (Then, too, Doctorow's particular brand of complex-human-systems speculation hasn't been done much before.) Protagonist Julian's interactions with his ex-cowboy compatriot and Disney-native girlfriend are complex and nuanced, and the ending is satasfyingly mind-expanding.

Down and Out is well worth the read (especially for free) but not without flaws; Doctorow tends to underplay his hand. One flashback in particular, about a transhuman ex-girlfriend who goes insane living on earth (instead of a space station) could have fueled a full novella but's told detachedly and without much detail. It fits the context well, but one can't help but be a little disappointed. In general, the description's also a bit sparse; maybe your imagination will be satasfied but mine couldn't find a good toehold.