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A Snippet of Quicksilver...

...is online.

And the book is out in the autumn! This year! Time to put September 23rd in the diary!

(Ahem. Time to calm down.)

"Daniel, Jack, and Eliza will traverse a landscape populated by mad alchemists, Barbary pirates, and bawdy courtiers, as well as historical figures including Samuel Pepys, Ben Franklin, and other great minds of the age. Traveling from the infant American colonies to the Tower of London to the glittering courts of Louis XIV, and all manner of places in between, this magnificent historical epic brings to vivid life a time like no other, and establishes its author as one of the preeminent talents of our own age."
Yes, Quicksilver is Neal Stephenson's prequel/sequel to Cryptonomicon, and it's the book I've been waiting for what seems like an eternity...


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2003 01:33 am (UTC)



May. 15th, 2003 01:45 am (UTC)
It's worth a read then?
May. 15th, 2003 01:47 am (UTC)
You've not read Cryptonomicon?

Hie thee to a book vendor at once, my good man!
May. 15th, 2003 01:56 am (UTC)
I just gave M the business plan bit from Cryptonomicon to add into an MBA assignment - having written a few in my time, it pretty much sums things up.

Quicksilver: Goody!
May. 15th, 2003 01:57 am (UTC)
I seem to have missed all of Neal Stephenson's stuff

What should I read before/after Cryptonomicon?
May. 15th, 2003 02:23 am (UTC)
Snowcrash. You must read snowcrash.
May. 15th, 2003 02:37 am (UTC)
..and I won't think he's ripping off Gibson?
May. 15th, 2003 02:50 am (UTC)
Its like Gibson written by somebody who experience with computers is more than having once used an ATM. If you've used Chat and, in particular, chat clients like AlphaWorld, you'll be impressed - Stephenson was way ahead of the game.

I also read that the "big concept" at the heart of Snow Crash "The Street" is making its way to the real world - Cybertown

Although, to be frank, EverCrack is probably closer to what Stephenson envisaged.
May. 15th, 2003 06:37 am (UTC)
there was an argument on the VRML mailing list when they were deciding what vitual reality was going to look like and it was basically Gibson fans vs Stephenson fans. Stephenson fans won.

he has flaws as a writer. he didn't really learn to handle plot until Crypto and he does tend to start in one direction, get a ways along and then flip to something differnt. you'll recognise characters from book to book who are very similar. but he's inventive, lyrical, persuasive, slightly weird and utterly engaging. Well worth reading Snow Crash and Zodiac and Cryptonomicon and Diamond Age and the Stephen Bury books he wrote with his uncle - Cobweb and the other one I misremember; save The Big U for when you like him already and want to look at an early work (it's only been republished to stop fans paying $200 for acopy on ebay).
May. 15th, 2003 06:48 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I've obviously been out of touch.

Who else should I be checking out if I like my SF on the hard-side
May. 15th, 2003 07:01 am (UTC)
May. 15th, 2003 07:09 am (UTC)
Why thank you kind sir
May. 15th, 2003 07:30 am (UTC)
My obvious one would be Alistair Reynolds. Big picture hard-SF and a thoroughly nice chap.
May. 15th, 2003 07:35 am (UTC)
Just working my way through his stuff
May. 15th, 2003 05:26 am (UTC)
Agreed. In spades.
May. 15th, 2003 02:26 am (UTC)
Well - hard to say... I liked Cryptonomicon because I read it while I was involved in the rollercoaster that was the Dot.com Bomb - other fen like it 'cos its about hacking and other cool stuff. But its more techno-thriller than SF.

Snowcrash is excellent, Cyberpunk the way it ought to be. I liked the Diamond Age because very few authors have tried to do Nanotechnology properly. The other Stephenson's are really techno-thrillers with a SF edge - although _Cobweb_, about the run up to the first Gulf War, holds quite some interest in the light of current events.

I would suggest Snowcrash first, then Diamond Age and then Cryptonomicon - unless you like techno-thrillers with an edge then jump straight into Cryptonomicon.
May. 15th, 2003 02:31 am (UTC)
Many thanks

I may even download one to the Clie tonight. Although I think I'll finish my latest Airport Book - Hornet Flight by Ken Follett - not a bad read and it passed the time fairly well.

I think I even read the blurb on Cryptonomicon at the airport and dismissed it as another hack writer trying to emulate Clancy.
May. 15th, 2003 02:34 am (UTC)
Stephenson has a pretty unique voice and a rather good way of allowing some fun to creep into otherwise dull situations. That's not to say he's without flaw, but if you like Clancy and/or Ludlum he compares well - plus the science and computing is generally pretty good. (There's a famous error in Snow Crash which I use in the Technobabble Quiz but we'll let him get away with that)

I'd certainly put him above Ken Follett.

Although I must admit I haven't read many "straight" thrillers recently. Perhaps it is time to do so. I'm finding it progressively harder to read on long plane flights - either that's age doing things to my brain, or the amount I'm having to drink to get through 9 hours in an economy class seat.
May. 15th, 2003 02:43 am (UTC)
>>9 hours in an economy class seat
My heart goes out to you. Thankfully our company is much more understanding. We can book business class on flights over 6 hours. Even so I usually ease back on the booze for the trips to Asia and take a sleeping tablet that my friendly GP prescribes

Ken Follett's books are entertaining, but workmanlikein style. However, I think he's made a mistake by writing two novels: Jackdaws and Hornet Flight in succession which are set in occupied Europe during WWII. There are too many similarites for the reader not to get confused
May. 15th, 2003 05:27 am (UTC)
Stephenson's one big flaw is he just can't do endings...
May. 15th, 2003 05:43 am (UTC)
If you want Stephenson plus late 20th-century US politics, try Interface, which he cowrote with a relation who's in academia. Great stuff on polling the electorate and use of media in elections. I finished a goodly portion (but not all) of it during the 18-hour trip (2 flights) to New Zealand.
May. 15th, 2003 06:53 am (UTC)

There are few authors that I'll rush out to buy the hardcover for and Stephenson is definitely one of them.

Bring it on :)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )