Crooked Timber offers up some interesting thoughts on Ian McDonald's Brasyl stating that it is "open to question whether the book is trying to present an authentic vision of what Brazil past, current and future might look like," and further argues " that the book is best categorized as a utopian novel, albeit one that is remarkably sneaky and indirect."
I quite enjoyed this analysis, and look forward to the forthcoming promised longer piece. For now, Crooked Timber concludes:
"I suspect that one of the reasons why McDonald wanted to write about Brazil is because it poses questions about the globalization of culture and economics so starkly. The result is that the book has a political resonance that’s very different from the mainstream of American and UK SF. Cory Doctorow likes Brasyl enormously, and I’m not even slightly surprised. Brasyl’s argument has a lot in common with what I’ve described as BoingBoing socialism. On the one hand, Brasyl shows the downside of William Gibson’s famous dictum that 'the street finds its own uses for things.' On the other, it turns the phrase into a positive political manifesto. It’s also very well (at times beautifully) written and tells a great story while it’s at it. What more could you be looking for?"