Saturday, July 09, 2005

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Since we're talking about strife at Disney this weekend, I thought I'd throw out a wonderful little book that I ran into a year or two ago for your perusal. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a short 200ish page book set in a future time where Disney Company has ceased to exist, and squatters have moved into the Magic Kingdom to preserve the park. From a review by Noah Robischon of Entertainment Weekly:
What better place to fantasize about our troubling evolutionary path than Tomorrowland? Doctorow takes the scariest scientific advances -- cloning, medical immortality, an inter-networked world in which social standing is based on eBay-style ratings -- and sets them inside a Disney theme park. More specifically, these techno-possibilities are the backdrop for a battle over the Haunted Mansion. Members of the governing "Ad-hocracy" want to preserve the attraction's animatronic innards, but a techno-populist team from Disneyland Beijing has developed a way to flash-bake experiences directly on visitors' brains. The resulting tug-of-war leads to on-line insurrections, fan-led coups, and an assassination. The futuristic roller-coaster that is Down and Out travels is more fascinating than the murder-mystery at its core. Still, Doctorow's debut is a sci-fi ride worth lining up for. A-

This book is a fun little read, especially related to the technology he theorizes and the unique locales. It certainly seems logical that we would all be direct-wired into to the web sometime in the future, but it's also a little bit scary. Money? Who needs it? An electronic point system seems to be a logical step from electronic banking. The settings and geography of the book are spot-on as well. Only one thing is amiss... Snow White Castle in the Florida Magic Kingdom?

Best thing about the book? You can download a copy of the e-book for free.


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