Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson, like fellow Wordcandy authors Neil Gaiman and A.S. Byatt, occasionally seems like he's written entire novels for the sole purpose of flaunting his intelligence and bone-deep hipness. Luckily, once you get past his self-absorption, most of his books are damn entertaining. Snow Crash and Diamond Age are modern classics of technological daydreaming, focusing on the Internet, virtual reality, and nanotechnology. Any self-respecting sci-fi geek owns a well-worn copy of each. His positively enormous Baroque Cycle books, Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver (with thousands more pages to come), are perfect for any bored math/computer/physics geeks out there looking to kill a few weeks (they're tomes, I tell you... TOMES!). When he's at the top of his game, Stephenson's writing has an easy, natural style that's capable of creating highly detailed, complex storylines that are jam-packed with historical and pop culture references, and he does it all without putting you to sleep... well, not often, anyway.

Note 1: Neal Stephenson is "a self-proclaimed introvert". He would be.

Note 2: The only thing that really irritates me about Stephenson is that he seems ambivalent about his Wordcandy-ness. Take gander here to see what I mean. Embrace your pop fiction status, Mr. Stephenson! Pop fiction is the brain, heart, and spinal cord of the book world, and anyone who says differently is probably just being bitter about something.



Other Recommendations:
Anything by William Gibson

Anything by China Mieville

Anything by Iain M. Banks

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Posted by: Julia


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