Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 1, 2003 - Fiction - 208 pages
1054 Reviews
Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever-shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes.

Bursting with cutting-edge speculation and human insight, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom reads like Neal Stephenson meets Nick Hornby: a coming-of-age romantic comedy and a kick-butt cybernetic tour de force.

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A fast read, and a great plot. - Goodreads
Interesting world, unsatisfying ending. - Goodreads
Interesting story telling, not my preferred genre. - Goodreads
Good ideas, but the characterization needs more work. - Goodreads
rambling plot with large plot twists left untwisted. - Goodreads
The premise: Cyber-punk type futuristic novel. - Goodreads

Review: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

User Review  - b - Goodreads

I loved the setting, always a fan of post-scarcity post-human settings, but I thought the plot was kind of contrived, and the characters some mixture of implausible and unlikeable. the main character ... Read full review

Review: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

Fans of Heinlein and/or Spider Robinson will like this one. It has the same feel in detail and progression of the story. Some great Scifi concepts in here, too. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12

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About the author (2003)

Cory Doctorow cofounded the Internet search-engine company and now works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His personal Web site is at His weblog Boing (, coedited with Mark Frauenfelder and David Pescovitz, is read by more than 130,000 unique visitors every month. In 2000, the World Science Fiction convention voted him the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He lives in San Francisco.

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