Wednesday, February 15, 2006
If you met the novelist Neal Stephenson a decade ago, you would have encountered a slight, unassuming grad-student type whose soft-spoken demeanor gave no obvious indication that he had written the manic apotheosis of cyberpunk science fiction (1992’s Snow Crash, in which computer viruses start invading hacker minds). It wasn’t his debut—he’d published two earlier novels in the 1980s—but the book was such a hit that it put his name on the science fiction map in a way the earlier efforts had not.
Meet Stephenson today, and you’ll meet a well-muscled, shaven-headed, bearded fellow who’s just published a highly acclaimed, massively popular trilogy of 900-page novels set mostly in the 17th century. Talk to him, though, and you still hear the rigorously humble guy of 10 years ago. Read that trilogy—Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World, collectively called The Baroque Cycle—and you’ll have the uncanny sense that you’re reading some new kind of science fiction. Actually, with every Stephenson book since Snow Crash, you feel that you’re reading some new kind of science fiction, regardless of the nominal set and settings of the story.
(from an interview to Neil Stephenson by Mike Godwin)
tarted by ---gallizio
in the rocket man era