After the Siege

Cover image for


Author: Cory Doctorow
Published: 2007
Language: English
Wordcount: 22,057 / 61 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 76.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 7,359
Added to site: 2007.07.19 17674
License: by-nc-nd

2008 Locus Award Winner for Best Novella.

Show Excerpt

ooped up with him.

She carried water that day. She'd expected to be balancing buckets over her shoulders like in the schoolbooks, but they fitted her with a bubble-suit that distributed the weight over her whole body and then filled it up with a hose until she weighed nearly twice what she normally did. Other kids were in the stairwells wearing identical bubble-suits, sloshing up the steps to old peoples' flats that smelled funny. The old women and men that Valentine saw that day pinched her cheeks and then emptied out her bubble-suit into their cisterns.

It was exhausting work, and by the end of the day she had stopped making even perfunctory conversation with the other water-carriers. The old people she met at the day's end were bitter about being left alone and thirsty all day, and they snapped at her and didn't thank her at all.

She picked Trover up from the creche, and he demanded that he be carried, and she had half a mind to toss him down the stairs. But she noticed that he had a b


Average Rating of 5 from 5 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

A powerful, real, grim fable of the information age. After a revolution, the city is transformed, with robotics, 3D printers and nanotechnology providing all the buildings, energy, food, and medicine in abundance. Then the city is attacked by the EU and US and all its technology is corrupted. As best I could understand (if it matters) the cause of the war was copyright infringement.
Two years of disease, starvation, bombing and fighting follow. The story is told by a 13 year old girl/woman who comes to find a way out. All the characters are well-done and complex, especially Valentine, her mother, her little brother, the wizard and the old soldier. The plotting is tight and relentless, and the descriptions and writing is first-rate.
Highly recommended.


It certainly had me intrigued from the beginning. It was quick to read, but will hang in your head for much longer. At times it was so vivid, you could almost smell the stench of suffering and feel the pains and delerium of hunger. What people do in order to survive. Disturbing at times, but well worth it. I will be reading more of his works!

Charles Wright

Although this a science fiction book, the context is closer to World War II. The author mentions his inspiration was his Grandmother surviving two years during the siege of Stalingrad. Its teen protagonist suffers and survives in the most desperate of circumstances. A quick page turner, read it in one night. The language and situations pull no punches, so I would recommend for older teens.


The premise sounds like just too much at once: robots, war, zombies, a wizard, starvation. But somehow it all comes together for a riveting story. I'd love to see it expanded into a full-length novel.


A young teenage girl lives in the perfect world where zombieness is cured an all things you need is printed out. But then the siege beginns and all changes. Hunger and violence becomes her world. The parents dies one after one and she has to take care of her little brother. Only a wizard gives her help. And then it's hers to finnish the war ...
I like this book and will read more of this author.

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