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Termination Shock

Review:

Bet­ter than Fall and REAMDE, and hap­pi­ly free of most of the mythos he start­ed build­ing back in Crypto­nomi­con (that end­ed up be­ing a re­al­ly bad move, let's not do that again)

This book has all the trade­marks of a NS book. The de­tail in ir­rel­e­vant things just be­cause he prob­a­bly thinks they are cool. The char­ac­ters that don't re­al­ly make much sense. The multi­gen­er­a­tional bi­o­graph­ic ex­cur­sions be­cause Zeus for­bid some­one was just part of a reg­u­lar fam­i­ly, then got a job and did some­thing. Oh no, ev­ery­one must be the scion of a sev­en-­gen­er­a­tion chain of ... some­thing.

BUT: it's a page turn­er. I read it in a bit over a day. I had fun. I was not of­fend­ed by much in it. The stupid parts are not THAT stupid (ex­cept a few) and ...

We must at some point give up the idea that Stephen­son is some sort of trans­for­ma­tion­al writ­er who will cre­ate a genre or what­ev­er. The clos­est he got was the Baroque Cy­cle and TBH the sheer size of it dis­cour­ages most read­er­s, so it would be a more im­por­tant book/series if it were 75% short­er.

There is a nice quote about him in Snowcrash, the book he wrote when he was rough­ly 30, you know the one, the one that starts "Un­til a man in twen­ty-­five, he still thinks, ev­ery so of­ten, that un­der the right cir­cum­stances he could be the bad­dest moth­er­fuck­er in the world."

Neal Stephen­son is no longer 25, and nei­ther are we. He is what he is, and he got old be­com­ing it, and we got old read­ing it, and it was not so bad.


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