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06-26-15 : Neal Stephenson Crafts an Eden for 'Seveneves'

Blow It Up and Start All Over Again

"The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." As opening lines go, the lift-off of Neal Stephenson's new near-future space opera is a good predictor for what is to follow. 'Seveneves' is a big book in every sense; it clocks in at over 800 pages, the events are momentous, the all-too-real characters confront apocalypse, and the ideas are authentically astounding.

But don't let its size fool you. This is a page-turning thriller that you're likely to finish all too quickly. It's the epitome of both classic science extrapolation and post-cyberpunk transhumanism. Don't just hold on to your seats; hold on to your brains.

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Meta-fictional Sherlock Holmes meets Henry James.

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"He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. "Dear me!" said he, turning over the pages, "what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! But surely the most valuable hunting-ground that ever was given to a student of the unusual!"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Red Circle

NEW!!! 06-26-15: Time to Read Episode 207: Neal Stephenspon : Seveneves
06-26-15: A 2015 Interview with Neal Stephenson

"...and know that you're never going to se a tree again..."
— Neal Stephenson

It's fun talking to Neal Stephenson about his books because he puts so much clear-headed cogitation into them – and he's able to discuss not just what he says, but how he came to say it the way he says it. 'Seveneves' is a big book that reads like a gripping 300-page thriller. But it is first and foremost a science fiction novel of what Joe R. Lansdale called 'big thinks." In other words, get ready to have your mind boggled. If Stanley Kubrick was around, we could only hope that he'd take up this one as a bookend for 2001.

06-03-15: A 2015 Interview with Dan Simmons

"...yes, they really did bring those bombs..."
— Dan Simmons

It's always a pleasure to speak with Dan Simmons, and I was especially looking forward to peaking with him about 'The Fifth Heart.' From the first time I heard about this book from him, I wanted to read it and then talk to him about it afterward, because it seemed it would be so much of a reader's book.
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The ALL NEW MATERIAL, NO RE-TREADS Agony Column Literary Magazine for June 28, 2015, 6-7 PM PDT
Stephen Witt, Anna Cummins and Seane Corn. Email me.

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