Skip to main content

Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Posts about goodreads (old posts, page 123)

Fall; or, Dodge in Hell

Review:

Since this book is sort of the end of an in­for­mal se­ries (not ex­plain­ing, spoil­ers on lots of things) it de­serves an ac­tu­al re­view, I think.

Point: Neal Stephen­son is not a sci­ence fic­tion writ­er.

Sure, he us­es sci­ence fic­tion tropes, but he is suc­cess­ful when he us­es them for oth­er pur­pos­es. Snowcrash is suc­ces­ful as satire, not as sci­fi. As sci­fi it's pret­ty much ridicu­lous. As satire? It's hi­lar­i­ous, en­ter­tain­ing, and a page turn­er.

His best books are pret­ty much sci­fi-free, and they get bet­ter the more an­cient the set­ting. The Baroque Cy­cle? 10/10. Crypto­nomi­con? The WW2 bits are the good part­s.

D.O.D.O? The good parts are the "old" part­s, again.

REAMDE? Reads like ... Crich­ton? I say that not as a com­pli­men­t.

There are ex­cep­tion­s, like the Mon­go­li­ad which is both his­tor­i­cal fic­tion and most­ly aw­ful (ex­cept the 1st book, and hon­est­ly I don't think Stephen­son wrote much out­side of that one) and Sev­en­eves which is sci­fi and ok.

But re­al­ly, he is best writ­ing his­tor­i­cal fic­tion. And this book shows one more thing he's not:

He RE­AL­LY is­n't a fan­ta­sy writ­er. Oh, boy is he not a fan­ta­sy writ­er.

Al­so, he should lay off the gnos­tics for a book or two.


Contents © 2000-2021 Roberto Alsina