Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Yes, I said 'Gah', how are people already getting copies of Neal Stephenson's new book Anathem? (some with free music CDs).

Well, actually I know how, as when I worked at Waterstone's I used to regularly get preview copies of all sorts of amazing stuff, mainly by phoning the relevant rep and moaning at him until the package arrived a few days later. Best Job In The World.

Oh, this is the picture from TV Centre's foyer - I'll admit it was a bit more dramatic in my imagination. There are now three Daleks hanging around the foyer, when previously there was only the one. I was going to come up with a hilarious thing about them all going up for the same interview or summat like that, but I'm quite busy at the moment, so you'll have to write your own bit

Excellent, I see I have a new reader of the blog from the London Development Agency who came via a Google search for "Boris Johnson Young People".

I hope you enjoyed the result, especially the comments thread. I believe Jayne is still cross.

While still on a Boris tip, I am very much enjoying the good work of Tory Troll


Good Dog said...

Liked his earlier work, absolutely love Cryptonomicon, but damn, The Baroque Cycle did it for me. Bought Quicksilver when it came out and got it inscribed when Mr Stephenson was over on a brief signing tour, but....

Hang on a sec....

Yeah, had to go and check... The book is still on the bedside table, under a pile of other novels, with the bookmark at page 376.

Still, about time I read Cryptonomicon again, so thanks for reminding me.

patroclus said...

I liked the way that Boris scrapped the cheap petrol deal with Venezuela just as oil prices started to go through the roof.

Result: no more subsidised bus fares for the poorest people in London. Never mind social mobility, Boris is doing away with *actual* mobility. Nice move, Bozza.

rob-writes said...

I bet those Daleks are all going for the same interview or something!

Oli said...

Just started Cryptonomicon. Aces so far.

james henry said...

Yeah, Cryptonomicon is his best, I reckon. Baroque Cycle is great, but I'm on the fifth re-read now, and I'm only just starting to work out what's going on.

Thanks for picking up the slack there, Rob.

spacemonkey said...


Ooh! Ooh! Can I join in? (Is bearded spec-wearing putative Bo-colleague, btw - allo!)

Has anyone made it all the way through The Baroque Cycle? I was nagged and nagged at it by a friend, submitted to Quicksilver, and cursed said friend as a liar, scoundrel, and probably not even a gentleman. Thought it was the most boring thing that had ever passed my retinas...

*pause for drama*


...if you can make it about half-way through Volume One, to Jack and Eliza's adventures:

*sound of jaw hitting the floor*

: it's one of the most amazing things I've ever read. The second volume (The Confusion) was so grippingly twistingly story-telling-tastically brilliant I practically had it skingrafted to my palm by the end.

Any word on the new one?


patroclus said...

>>Has anyone made it all the way through The Baroque Cycle?<<

I just can't do it - on several occasions I've got about 300 pages into Quicksilver, and 300 pages into The Confusion, and then work intrudes or something, so I have to leave it for a bit, by which time I've forgotten what happened so I have to start again. It's very frustrating, as the Baroque Cycle is clearly brilliant.

Plus I am convinced the entire trilogy is a very complicated metaphor for how computers and the internet work, so I like reading it on that level.

james henry said...

The Confusion has the most audacious 'getting a character you thought was effectively dead back into the narrative' opening ever. And it even justifies my love of absurdly hot baths. Neal is skill.

Also, hello Bo colleague!

Boz said...

...can we not call him Bozza? I would be mortified if there were any confusion. :-)

Jayne said...

Am just back from the US, where I spent an inordinate amount of time talking to scary American librarians. On the plus side I got a free copy of Anathem and bought a new macbook. Yay. But you'll have to send me your thing again James, sorry!

PS Yup, still annoyed...