Wordfest Presents Cory Doctorow

Wordfest Presents Cory Doctorow

Wordfest Presents Cory Doctorow

May 03 @ 7 PM - 8:15 PM MT 
Memorial Park Library, 2nd Floor
1221 2 St SW

Wordfest welcomes back to Calgary prolific post-cyberpunk writer and activist Cory Doctorow and his new thriller, The Bezzle. The conversation, hosted by Wordfest's Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut, starts at 7PM MT and includes an audience Q & A and book signing. Shelf Life Books will be on site with copies of Doctorow’s newest book, as well as his acclaimed backlist. Ticket holders can also pre-order copies here for pick-up at the event.

We are grateful to Raincoast Books for making it possible to connect you with Cory Doctorow.

About The Bezzle

Cory Doctorow is one of our most important science fiction authors." -Kim Stanley Robinson

The Bezzle is a high stakes thriller where the lives of the hundreds of thousands of inmates in California's prisons are traded like stock shares.

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost 25$. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he's kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life. 

Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they've found their newest mark – California's Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they're living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.

A seething rebuke of the privatized prison system that delves deeply into the arcane and baroque financial chicanery involved in the 2008 financial crash, The Bezzle is a sizzling follow-up to Red Team Blues

About The Lost Cause

It’s 30 years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go?

For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn't controversial. It's just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Entire cities are being moved inland from the rising seas. Vast clean-energy projects are springing up everywhere. Disaster relief, the mitigation of floods and superstorms, has become a skill for which tens of millions of people are trained every year. The effort is global. It employs everyone who wants to work. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks.

But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their "alternative" news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that "climate change" is just a giant scam.

The Lost Cause asks: What do we do about people who cling to the belief that their own children are the enemy? When, in fact, they're often the elders that we love?

About The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation

A USA TODAY Bestseller and Winner of the 2024 Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity

When the tech platforms promised a future of "connection," they were lying. They said their "walled gardens" would keep us safe, but those were prison walls. Their platforms locked us into their systems and made us easy pickings, ripe for extraction. Twitter, Facebook and other Big Tech platforms are hard to leave by design. They hold hostage the people we love, the communities that matter to us, the audiences and customers we rely on. The impossibility of staying connected to these people after you delete your account has nothing to do with technological limitations: it's a business strategy in service to commodifying your personal life and relationships.

We can – we must – dismantle the tech platforms. In The Internet Con, Cory Doctorow explains how to seize the means of computation, by forcing Silicon Valley to do the thing it fears most: interoperate. Interoperability will tear down the walls between technologies, allowing users leave platforms, remix their media, and reconfigure their devices without corporate permission.

Interoperability is the only route to the rapid and enduring annihilation of the platforms. The Internet Con is the disassembly manual we need to take back our internet.

About Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a New York Times Bestselling author, activist, and journalist. His most recent fiction books include The Bezzle (a follow-up to Red Team Blues) and The Lost Cause, a solarpunk sc-fi novel of hope amidst the climate emergency. His most recent nonfiction book is The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation, a Big Tech disassembly manual. Other recent books include Chokepoint Capitalism, nonfiction about monopoly and creative labor markets; the Little Brother series for young adults; In Real Life, a graphic novel; and the picture book Poesy the Monster Slayer. In 2020, Doctorow was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. He lives in Los Angeles. Learn more at craphound.com.

About Host Shelley Youngblut

Shelley Youngblut is the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership. She also won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, CosmopolitanNickelodeonWestern Living, and The Globe and Mail. She was also a former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada AM. Follow her on Facebook @ShelleyYoungblut and Instagram/Threads @youngblutshelley.


  • "Enshittification": The 2023 Digital Word of the Year. –Verso
  • The Big Idea: Cory Doctorow. –Whatever.scalzi.com
  • Guest Essay: Burning Man Is Always A Challenge, but Burners Like Me Know This Time Is Different. –NY Times 

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