The Stephensonsian System

Following on from a posting on the Brighton New Media mailing list today, I just found out that the third book in Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle is now available. It’s called The System Of The World.

I think I’ll have to go into a bricks’n’mortar bookshop to get this. Any saving in price I’d make by ordering it online would probably be offset by the shipping costs associated with sending such a brick-like tome through the mail.

Besides, I want it now! I’ve been on tenterhooks since finishing The Confusion.

Neal Stephenson must be one of the very few authors whose promotional tour would involve an interview on Slashdot. Even if you’re not a regular Slashdot reader (heck, especially if you’re not a regular Slashdot reader), head on over there and check out the great questions and even greater answers.

Here’s my favourite:

“In a fight between you and William Gibson, who would win?”

“You don’t have to settle for mere idle speculation. Let me tell you how it came out on the three occasions when we did fight. The first time was a year or two after SNOW CRASH came out. I was doing a reading/signing at White Dwarf Books in Vancouver. Gibson stopped by to say hello and extended his hand as if to shake. But I remembered something Bruce Sterling had told me. For, at the time, Sterling and I had formed a pact to fight Gibson. Gibson had been regrown in a vat from scraps of DNA after Sterling had crashed an LNG tanker into Gibson’s Stealth pleasure barge in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. During the regeneration process, telescoping Carbonite stilettos had been incorporated into Gibson’s arms. Remembering this in the nick of time, I grabbed the signing table and flipped it up between us. Of course the Carbonite stilettos pierced it as if it were cork board, but this spoiled his aim long enough for me to whip my wakizashi out from between my shoulder blades and swing at his head.”

Check out the whole interview for more gems. I just hope that the Slashdot servers areable to cope with the bandwidth onslaught that may result from what’s known as “the adactio effect”.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

16 years ago I wrote Zoot alors!

My Onion Article Generator is showing up in strange, far-flung places. Sacre bleu!

17 years ago I wrote Hayden

I’ve just come back from seeing the Canadian singer/songwriter Hayden playing at a local pub. He was rather wonderful.

18 years ago I wrote Macromedia claims it owns Adobe patent

This is going from the ridiculous to the sublime.