Monday, June 2, 2008

Cory Doctorow

Sarah Weinman interviewed Cory Doctorow about his YA novel Little Brother for

From the outtakes from the interview:

SW: How did you balance the need to move the story along and maintain momentum with the need to explain certain critical concepts in computer hacking – Denial of Service, infected PCs, Bayesian analysis, creation of networks, to name a few? Was it a challenge to keep the number of expository paragraphs to a minimum?

CD: Some people view exposition as a necessary evil but I think exposition, when done right, and in science fiction most of all, the right exposition at the right moment can be just as fascinating as character development or plot twists. People don't just read young adult science fiction to be entertained; they also want to know how the world works. They not only forgive you from going away from [the] main thrust of the action, they thank you for it. I wrote the book intuitively, taking as the starting point that if Marcus was a supergeeky kid, he had superheated conversations on how things -- be it computers, or the internet, or specific hacking concepts -- are explained. His whole life would be defined by explaining to people what [he is] super-passionate about.

I don't think Marcus would view this as information overload. If you're excited, if you're the right person, it's okay to explain things that are over their head. It's a privilege to be around people if they are passionate about a subject. Ennui is [a] terrible characteristic trait – people who are bored don't make interesting narrators!
Read more of the outtake and find the link to the edited interview.

--Marshal Zeringue