Neal Stephenson rocks

It’s not often I meet a book that really, really bowls me over: possibly the first was Robert A Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land; then came his Time Enough for Love, and Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Lord of the Rings – all in the same year.

Roger Zelazny mesmerised me next, with Lord of Light, then Larry Niven’s Ringworld – all in the 1970s, mind you – and then there was a gap. Of years.

There has been a revolution in recent times, that’s every bit as profound as the New Wave of the early 70s: it’s the advent of hard science fiction writers who can really write, and are doing so superlatively well.

One such is Neal Stephenson: I first read stories by him in collections; then came Snowcrash – and I was hooked.  Little did I know, however, that Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle series followed…and that I would be swept away on a tide of such well-imagined fantasy, that it was hard to surface – and I never wanted it to stop.  U-boats, strange gold, cryptography, Alan Turing, Isaac Newton, and what amounts to magical realism reinterpreted.

Now he’s written another insanely good blockbuster, called Anathem.  I have a particular fascination for the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics – and Stephenson explores the concept so well, with such a well constructed back story, that I wanted the story to run, and run, and run.

Maybe it will.  Until then, here’s widget you can download off his web site.  Enjoy.


About Ed Rybicki

Ed is a 60-ish virologist and biotechnologist, formerly a Zambian and presently a South African. He is into family, virology, biotechnology, science in general, science fiction in particular, photography, red wine, wearing loud shirts, 70s rock, blues and smooth jazz...and telling stories. Sometimes, interesting ones. And writing for his own amusement.
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1 Response to Neal Stephenson rocks

  1. Redhead says:

    I love Neal Stephenson. well, actually it’s more of a love/hate thing, but by the time I get to the end of anything he’s written, i’m back to love, big time. I’ve been meaning to pick up Anathem at the library, but everytime i look at it, all i can think “that thing looks like it weighs a ton”. but i will read it, one of these days!!

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