Little Brother (Doctorow novel)

Little Brother is a novel by Cory Doctorow. He was released in 2008.

The theme of this story is the modern surveillance state, the fictitious example of San Francisco, a police state, after a terrorist attack. Both the consequences that arise for the people as well as the ways on how to fight against it, will be shown on the basis of a student.

Main characters

  • Marcus Yallow alias w1n5t0n ( gespr Winston ), later M1k3y ( gespr Mikey )
  • Angela Carvelli ( In short ), friend of Marcus
  • Jose Luis Torrez (short Jolu ), friend of Marcus
  • Vanessa Pak (short- Van ), friend of Marcus
  • Darryl Glover, -lost best friend of Marcus
  • Barbara Stratford, investigative reporter
  • Carrie Johnstone aka Mrs. circular incision, a soldier of the Department of Homeland Security


The 17- year-old schoolboy Marcus Yallow who visits a school in San Francisco and deals with security systems, will witness a terrorist attack on the Bay Bridge. Then he and his friends by the Department of Homeland Security ( Department of Homeland Security - DHS ) detained, interrogated and tortured, as it is a hobby hackers and refuses to reveal his private passwords.

When he passwords will after a few days free, and nothing suspicious can be found on his cell phone, he is released. He returns home and finds that his laptop has been manipulated, and it was from one day to the other in a transparent person. In response, he told the DHS to war. Also, his friend Darryl, who was injured in the panic after the attack, still missing.

By means of a distribution of Linux ( Paranoid Linux, at the time of the first publication of the novel fictitious) Marcus founded the so-called Xnet, a communication network, the resistance movement ( Xnetter ) enables an encrypted communication. Since the entire city is continuously monitored by a monitoring system, Marcus quickly finds a weak point: If too many false alarms caused by unusual motion profiles are given, the system collapses. And so he published in the Xnet a guide on how you can provoke such false alarms (ie, by reading and changing the FasTrack cards - a kind of " auto city - toll card").

When the collapse is imminent, DHS understands the sabotage and attempted to take action against the Xnet, which are now regarded as terrorists. The Xnet is infiltrated by DHS agents and also monitored, so Marcus is forced to change the media: he founded a Web of Trust.

Marcus has only one choice: He must publish his story. After a first failed attempt in which his statements at the discretion of each newspaper are (much to his detriment ) interpreted, he asks Barbara Stratford, a reporter, to publish the truth.

By Barbara Stratford's help, it creates Marcus finally, to rid the city of the DHS and his friend Darryl from the captivity of the DHS.


Cory Doctorow has this work under the Creative Commons license Attribution -NonCommercial- ShareAlike (CC -BY -NC -SA ) published that allows anyone to freely distribute the work and process, if not done commercially and modifications or work under be passed on the same license.

Using this License Christian Wöhrl has made ​​a German translation of the novel. From this a Fanhörbuchprojekt arose.

Another translation ( by Uwe -Michael Gutzschhahn ) was published in Random House.

The title is based on in George Orwell's "1984" called Big Brother. Also the name is w1n5t0n to the principal of "1984 ," Winston Smith ajar.


The continuation of " Little Brother" was released under the original title " Homeland " in February 2013. By contrast, the German version was released on September 30, 2013 under the title " Little Brother - Homeland ".