Posts tagged ‘Neil Stephenson’

Two Old Favorites Re-Discovered in the Same Day

The other day, I was sorting through my bookshelves trying to find something for my son to read.  He just blew through the four books of the Hyperion series and was looking for fresh meat.  As I was browsing, I picked up Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash, which I have not read in several years.  Despite reading the book twice before, I was immediately engulfed by the first chapter.  I know I am a geek, but I honestly think that the first chapter of Snow Crash may be the best opening of any book I have ever read.

I seldom watch TV, but later that day I had just finished watching the A&E remake of Andromeda Strain, which was a favorite of mine when I was a boy.  I happened across the Redford-Dunaway movie "Three Days of the Condor."  This is one of my favorite spy movies, and not just because I am a sucker for Faye Dunaway (I always thought the young Faye Dunaway would have been a great Dagny Taggert in Atlas Shrugged.)  One of the reasons I like the movie is its pacing.  I enjoy a full-speed ahead never-take-a-breath action movie as much as the next person, but do they all have to be that way.  This was a thriller with an almost languid pace. 

Science Fiction as Literature

A while back, a question went around the blogosphere:  Are there any science fiction writers that we might legitimately label "literature" in fifty or a hundred years?  I think there may be several, but my first nomination is for Neil Stephenson.  Now, its hard to call him a purely science fiction writer, since he bounces around between future, present, and past, but anyone who wrote the incredible "Snow Crash" has got to be labeled, at least partially, a science fiction writer.

I just re-read Cryptonomicon for the second time, and what struck me, beyond just being an engaging story, is the incredible quality of his writing.  In an bit of good timing, Catallarchy actually has a post up with some short excerpts from Cryptonomicon.