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Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a 2003 science fiction book, the first novel by Canadian author and digital-rights activist Cory Doctorow. Concurrent with its publication by Tor Books, Doctorow released the entire text of the novel under a Creative Commonsnoncommercial license on his website, allowing the whole text of the book to be freely read and distributed without needing any further permission from him or his publisher.
The novel was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2004.
The story is told in first person by Julius, whose old college buddy Dan used to be one of the most popular people in the country (as measured by Whuffie). Julius and girlfriend Lil are working with the committee (called an ad hoc) that oversees the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square. Dan, who has hit rock bottom and lost all his Whuffie, doesn't believe in rejuvenation and wishes to die, but not while he's at rock bottom. He moves in with Julius and Lil in order to rebuild his life. At the park, Julius is murdered and soon refreshed. By the time he wakes up, Debra's ad hoc group has taken control of the Hall of Presidents, and is planning to replace its old-fashioned animatronic robots with the synthetic memory imprinting of the experience of being the president for a moment. Julius believes that this rival committee had him killed as a distraction while they seize the Hall in the interim.