Neal Stephenson's next novel is Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, an 880-page Stephsonian brick of a novel that has ample room for two novels, and that's because Stephenson actually stuck a second novel inside the first one.
Fall is the story (first) of how practical consciousness uploading becomes a reality even as the internet is being deliberately dismantled and (then) it's a fantasy novel about the elaborate mythologies and weird spiritualisms that thrive in the post-internet, uploaded-consciousness noosphere.
In a long and fascinating interview with Bob Marvin in PC Magazine, Stephenson describes the vision he had for the novel(s), and how it was driven by his revelation that social media is a "doomsday machine" that leads to a fragmented chaos of belief with no commonly agreed-upon truth. Stephenson says that he had to refactor much of the novel after the 2016 election (just as William Gibson did with "The Agency," the sequel to "The Peripheral").
PCMag: You stuck a fantasy novel inside a sci-fi novel.
NS: It's kind of a weird move. But my hope is that a lot of readers will sort of get the joke in the sense that fantasy and science fiction, those genres have always been kind of weirdly coupled together. On the surface they seem like very different things; one's about magic, one's about technology. And yet it is the case that they appeal to the same people.
Well we're in kind of a golden age of epic storytelling with Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and the big storytelling universes that people can go into in great depth. Hopefully this will help scratch that itch for some readers.
Neal Stephenson Explains His Vision of the Digital Afterlife [Rob Marvin/PC Magazine]
Emily Wilson is the author of a new "lean, fleet-footed translation" of Homer's Odyssey that "recaptures Homer's 'nimble gallop.'"
For years, Her Majesty's Government has been pursuing a plan to use the Great Firewall of Britain to block all porn sites unless they collect and retain personally identifying information on every porn user attesting to their age, thus fashioning the world's largest kompromat database, which -- thanks to the use of credit-cards as part […]
One of the coolest initiatives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the Electronic Frontier Alliance, a network of autonomous community groups that work on local issues with support from each other and EFF: everything from getting facial recognition banned in their communities to forcing local police departments to seek public comment on new surveillance tech […]
Remember when the default state of your online presence was anonymity? That’s not so clear-cut anymore, and the worst part is you may not even know who is using your data or what they’re using it for. Small wonder that so many people are choosing to surf through virtual private networks. VPNs filter web access […]
Get ready for the stream of your dreams, binge-watchers. There’s a contest afoot, and at stake is a lifetime subscription to Netflix. All you have to do is sign up, and you’re entered to win this ultimate Netflix plan. When does it expire? Only when you do. And hey, just in case you need something […]
There’s overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren’t we all taking advantage of it? […]