Neal Stephenson's essay collection, now in the UK


awesome. except as soon as I sign in to buy the damn thing the Kindle option disappears, because I live in the US. You know what? fuck you guys and your DRM and geographic rights. Anybody got a paypal account for Stephenson, I’ll send him the money directly as a protest.

Some of the essays and interviews are available online. I compiled them at

I’d say Neal’s probably best with his fiction at somewhat longer lengths. Diamond Age was really tight. Snow Crash was a good length, even though his ending was weak. Anathem was the right length and ended well. Cryptonomicon had some great stuff, but wandered too much and needed a strong editor to make him cut out 1/3 of what got published. The Baroque Cycle was way way way way too long.

And for a gripping account of the trials of laying the first transatlantic cable (among other things: the establishing of time zones, the Lorentz contraction, metric time…) check out Peter Galison’s “Einstein’s Clocks and Poincare’s Maps: Empires of Time”.

(link to Powell’s Books because I refuse to link to Amazon)

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