Neal Stephenson's Seveneves Kindle edition at a steep discount


#21

Exactly this.

The first half is compelling, if depressing. One of the big themes is “make your best plan, but be ready to do something completely different when that doesn’t work out.”

The second half asked me to believe that the detailed plans of a few people in an ongoing dire situation came to fruition exactly as envisioned over thousands of years. That does not follow from the first half.


#22

Does anyone else worry that Stephenson is about half a degree away from going full on racialist/race realist/whatever Reddit pseudoscience of the day? I’m not sure if he’s just not as interested in writing characters as individuals any longer, but it sure seems that he’s more interested in writing characters as racial archetypes. I mean, it’s not even subtext in Seveneves that people are the sum of their phenotype and little more.

I love so much of his work that it would break my heart, but it seems to be a theme he favors.

It would have been pretty on-brand if the folks going down to explore earth in the second half of Seveneves had found Enoch waiting for them, no?


#23

There was a lot about this book I liked but overall I found it a slog. The funniest review I’ve read of it is by Rick Urban at goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22816087-seveneves (may contain spoilers).


#24

Nope - I liked it. I thought he developed a logical chain of events, and then fast forwarded to a fascinating glimpse of the future. Without the fast forward, the book would have been 10,000 pages, and would have required emotionally-satisfying character development, which is not exactly his strongest suit.

He really is pretty prolific; not everything is going to be Snow Crash or The Cycle.


#25

Good review! I had a chuckle.

Your link didn’t take me directly to it though, maybe this will work better?


#26

He’s never that flowery. You are right SteveT about REAMDE but I still liked the plot. SPOILERS: I was just super bummed that the mountain lion didn’t kill the guy at the end.


#27

I don’t really mind the mountains of exposition, but I do take issue with the story and characters just glossing over certain choices that make no sense except for to introduce conflict further in the story. This reviewer hits those sore spots more clearly then I could:

Specifically this bit:

The schemes going on on board the ISS after it had become the only shelter left (they should’ve shot a certain woman as soon as they saw her, is all I’m going to say). And then, later, the whole seven races and their characteristics that somehow never got diluted in spite of living in such crammed space, clinging to differences that didn’t make that much sense all things considered (I didn’t buy the “they all retained traits from their founders” idea). The return to Earth had some nicely adventurous moments, bordering on indeed showing more than telling, but those didn’t last.

Also on the ending there was none? What the hell kinda note is that to end the book on?


#28

Thank you for the proper link!


#29

In fact, that is why I deleted it from my Kindle. Man, I hate that book and its cliched characters. I couldn’t keep watching the train wreck.


#30

I put REAMDE down halfway through. I just couldn’t take it anymore.


#31

It was really depressing! But I didn’t really mind that, I feel like it was for a good cause. I actually think this is a useful exercise all humans should take:

Imagine vividly that our planet is fucked and that lots of people are going to die, it’s going to take massive cooperation by all to just barely survive.

This is a useful exercise because this is actually true of our actual planet.

And given that grimm picture some will still attempt to better their own position at the risk of fucking it all up for everyone because humans just suck that way sometimes.

This is also something that is true for our actual planet. And something that the characters in the book spectacularly failed to prevent on several occasions. We should try and do better in the real world.


#32

Liked it. Not as much as Anathem but I kept turning the pages…


#33

Yeah, it’s far from his best, IMO.


closed #34

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