Monday 26 November 2007

Leave Neal Stephenson Alone!

I mean, look at what he's done for you. Saying he's a pastiche of Thomas Pynchon and pointing out he likes to finish stories abruptly is like comparing Christopher Marlowe to Shakespeare and, besides, you know, he should have learned to knife fight.

Sure, you loved him when he came out with Snow Crash, and put him up on a geek-culture pedestal, but now you're just using him. I don't know whether it was the fact the Cryptonomicon was too much like Gravity's Rainbow, or the Baroque cycle meant you had to learn all these new words and brush up on your 18th century history of geekdom. Or maybe you discovered Iain M. Banks and Alistair Reynolds, and have ended up in the post-singularity cyberthulhu chick-lit that is Charles Stross. Sure, you bag on Iain M. Banks too: for not writing enough Culture novels - but you just say each book wasn't as good as the previous one, or that he's just ripping off Orion's Arm - and Alistair Reynolds is, you know, rewriting the same great novel again and again and again. But nothing feels as good as kicking the big guy. Heck, you might just go deface his pretentious art house wiki again.

So leave Neal Stephenson alone!

(To be read while crying on Youtube, preferably in front of a sheet)

Recommended reading:

Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash
The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World

Thomas Pynchon
Gravity's Rainbow

Charles Stross
The Atrocity Archives
The Jennifer Morgue
Halting State
A Colder War (free to read online)

Alistair Reynolds
Revelation Space
Redemption Ark
Absolution Gap
The Prefect

Iain M. Banks
Consider Phlebas
Use of Weapons

(This is just a selection of the above authors work. My apologies for any hurt that may have been involved in writing this review.)

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