Kasey's Reviews > Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson
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Jul 30, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction

I'm very forgiving of essay collections by my favorite authors. Even though in some ways it feels like cheating, I've often not read the essays, so what do I care if they get the cheap revenue? The Stephenson is not the best essay collection I've read, many of the stories are old and feel dated, but there is enough here by a great writer that it is worth reading for any fan. The vast majority of the book is from Mother Earth, Motherboard. A huge article he wrote for Wired in 1996. Don't be scared off by either it's length or it's subject matter (it is a treatise on submarine cables). This is a very interesting piece for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it is a fascinating topic covered by someone who has a gift for making wonky hacker topics interesting. Second, it was written in a much different time. Before the internet bubble popped and 9/11. The internet was still bright and shiny and people all over the world were generally more optimistic. Finally, this essay is clearly a practice run for Cryptonomicon. The real world characters Stephenson encounters in this essay appear as fictional folks in that novel, and the tone of the piece feels like an early experiment in what would become the signature tone of the modern parts of Crypto. Well worth picking up.
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message 1: by Ngolana (new)

Ngolana It sounds good! But I was a bit scared by the goodreads blurb, starting in the second paragraph, where the sudden lack of punctuation creating giant run-ons made me wonder whether the editor had gone to sleep or was trying to imitate Stephenson's wilder novels...?

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