I recently finished Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Cory Doctorow's first novel. Cory Doctorow is one of the few people whose life I want. He's a novelist, works for the EFF, contributes to the seminal BoingBoing.net and is way, way cooler than I am. Mind you, he lives in the States, so that's a minus. From a note I sent to Cory regarding his book:
A brief note to say that I just finished Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and really enjoyed it. I'm not a big science fiction reader, so I appreciated the clarity with which concepts like whuffie, deadheading, etc, were expressed. These concepts had a sort of plausible realism--they very much seemed logical extensions of social and technological trends. Few authors like comparisons, but I found your writing kind of Douglas Couplandesque. It had the same sort of friendliness and easy cadence to it.
I read the first chapter online and then went out and bought the deadtree edition. I'm quite sensitive to smells, and the pages have exactly the same odour as the Dungeons and Dragons books of my youth. I don't know if it's the paper stock or the ink or a combo of the two, but I rarely find books with that smell.
So, not only did I enjoy reading your book, but it was also a pleasure to smell.
It suffered from a little first-novelitis--uneven characters and occasional cliches--but, given the inventive plot, themes and setting, these minor flaws are ignorable.
Though he was published, Cory also released his novel for free on the Internet. I recommend you give the first couple of chapters a read and, if you like it, buy the deadtree edition.