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Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Neal Stephenson , Jeff Cummings
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.61
Price: 9.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

11 Jun 2013
In this definitive collection of Stephenson's writings, journalism and meditations, the great American polymath puts the 20th Century - mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science and technology- under his eclectic and unflinching gaze.
One of the most talented and creative authors working today, Neal Stephenson is renowned for his exceptional novels - works colossal in vision and mind-boggling in complexity. Exploring and blending a diversity of topics, including technology, economics, history, science, pop culture, and philosophy, his books are the product of a keen and adventurous intellect. Not surprisingly, Stephenson is regularly asked to contribute articles, lectures, and essays to numerous outlets, from major newspapers and cutting edge magazines to college symposia. This remarkable collection brings together previously published short writings, both fiction and nonfiction as well as a new essay (and an extremely short story) created specifically for this volume.
Stephenson ponders a wealth of subjects, from movies and politics to David Foster Wallace and the Midwestern American College Town; video games to classics-based sci-fi; how geekdom has become cool and how science fiction has become mainstream (whether people admit it or not); the future of publishing and the origins of his novels. By turns amusing and profound, critical and celebratory, yet always entertaining, Some Remarks offers a fascinating look into the prismatic mind of this extraordinary writer.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; Unabridged edition (11 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469216272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469216270
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

More About the Author



Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired Magazine, and has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system.

Born in Fort Meade, Maryland (home of the NSA and the National Cryptologic Museum) Stephenson came from a family comprising engineers and hard scientists he dubs "propeller heads". His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1960 and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.

Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic "The Baroque Cycle" (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Product Description

Review

'Sometimes when you're reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn't just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.' --Time --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Neal Stephenson is the author of eight novels, including Cryptonomicon and the cult success Snow Crash. Four of his last five novels have been number one New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Seattle. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cynical output from the publisher 11 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not great I'm afraid. This is a very thin collection and feels like an idea that came from the publisher rather than the author. In the preview NS is gracious enough to say that some of these pieces are old but it all feels very dated and put together as a quick money spinner by the publisher. I'd be interested to see how much of this work can be scrounged through Google.

ps. I am a big fan of NS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Without a doubt, Neal Stephenson may be the most pensive, most expansive, writer of my generation, and these are traits he shows abundantly in his recent essay collection, "Some Remarks", that also include several terse short stories he has written over the years. Stephenson's writing is expansive in the sense that it covers many topics at once, which is why, for example, his "Baroque Cycle" trilogy is a compelling fictional exploration of the emerging science and personal rivalry of Leibniz and Newton during this period, as well as a most memorable action-adventure yarn whose main protagonists are the ancestors of those in his earlier post-cyberpunk novel "Cryptonomicon". In "Some Remarks" his essay on the construction of FLAG (Fiber Optic Link Around the Globe) "Mother Earth, Mother Board" compares and contrasts its construction with the successful laying of the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable in the 1860s, but is also discusses the life of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, especially with regards to his design of the first successful undersea cable, as well as series of travel guide vignettes aimed at the "hacker tourist". His early cyberpunk short story "Spew" anticipates much of the same literary style Stephenson would use in "Cryptonomicon" and the "Baroque Cycle". Other writings discuss the relevance of the films "300" and "Star Wars" to contemporary culture, the still uneasy relationship between science fiction and fantasy with mainstream literary fiction, why scientists are distrusted by those in the far Left and the far Right, and discussing the life and literary career of David Foster Wallace. "Some Remarks" may be the finest collection of short writing by a notable contemporary writer writing in English that I have read in years, not only recently. For those who are long-time admirers of his writing as well as those who are unfamiliar with it, "Some Remarks" should be viewed as essential reading, simply as a guide to a most memorable polymath, one Neal Stephenson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite remarkable 21 Mar 2014
By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Neal Stephenson is a knowledgeable, idiosyncratic writer with an interest in not only current and future technology (which is standard-issue for other writers of science fiction), but also its history. The former was his sure companion when he wrote the classic Snow Crash, and it was the latter which led him into writing his sprawling (but relentlessly fascinating) Baroque Cycle. Here, he collects together a couple of short stories (one of which is his early cyberspace tale "Spew", previously only available (I think) in the 1996 Hackers anthology) with several non-fiction pieces that have previously appeared in places like "Wired" magazine. These range from a learned discussion of the metaphysics of Liebniz and an introduction to Everything and More, David Foster Wallace's book about the history of infinity, to Stephenson's musings on how important science fiction is (or isn't) as a genre and his view of geeking out (concentrating on arcane detail) and vegging out (letting the whole thing wash over you). In between, you get his lengthy travelogue about his efforts in the mid-90s to get a ringside seat for the laying of the so-called "longest wire on Earth" - i.e. the Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe, and other gems such as his (entirely persuasive) advocacy of why walking around (instead of sitting down) all day at the office is really good for you. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neal Stephenson - Class Act 10 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all of his books apart from his very first which I have yet to read.

If you like his books you should enjoy this as well. By the way he is a writer!
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