Seveneves isn’t as gleefully didactic as Anathem so far, IMO. I loved Anathem.
I love me this guy, and have bought/read all of them. So far Crypto is still my fave with Reamde a second. But man, he needs his books a different way for once, other than
- Incredibly rich first two acts
- third act feels like there’s interesting ideas, but should have been a second book, because of a jarring break between 1/2 acts and 3rd act
- Everything slogs down; slow third act gets slow
- Suddenly there’s a huge blob of action and things happening because oh shit end soon
- Book ends abruptly. If you are lucky, like in Reamde, you get some final exposition to wrap a few things up. Most of the time it’s like “action action action TEH END BANG DONE.”
I don’t mind unresolved stuff, but in a way it’s sad, because we get new things just dangled and then probably we won’t get to see more development. Endings are hard, I guess.
My biggest criticism of him in the past was he seemed to not have a good voice for writing women, and I think this novel shows he’s taken big steps forward in that regard.
But I’m nitpicking - I chewed it down in a few days and it’s totally worth it.
“Clang” ripped a lot of people off. Until Subutai makes good on the project or refunds the investors, Stephenson gets no money from me or mine.
Another book to add to the list! I’m excited about this one. And still have to get around to finishing Anathem as well… I started it, made it about 100 or so pages in, and got bored and moved on to something else. I’ve been told it’s worth stickign it out, but the beginning just didn’t grip me when I tried the first time.
It took a bit to get going, but I thought it was a good story. The stuff leading up to A+1.339.2 (Hard Rain) is sad and tragic. The political shortsightedness of survivors in the years afterwards seems unpleasantly real. The last third, tho, had some story arcs that seemed entirely too fantastical just to wrap up loose ends from the first third. It’s curious that he didn’t seem to tie up a loose end from the 2nd third, tho.
Literally just finished rereading Anathem. It had kind of bounced off me the first time round. In the second reading, however, it really sparkled. Loved it.
That said, I’m going to need a break before attempting another Stephenson tome.
I’m hoping the same happens for me. My first attempt at Anathem was woefully unsuccessful.
It’s easy, just ignore your spouse and child and all other activities until you have finished the book, like I did. Luckily my spouse likes Neil Stephenson as well so the payback is to make sure they get the same consideration.
I still use the history and names of the science discoverers in Anathem to make points. It is like a secret code since it only works with my spouse and then not all the time.
I’d say Anathem is in the running for his best book. Reading that book inspired me to go back to school and study physics.
Wait. Review author = “advertiser”? No critical opinion, just positive reviewer quotes, precis, pictures of Mr Stephenson looking stern, … is this a real article?
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