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Mr. Arkadin

Neal Stephenson

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I've actually never read any Stephenson, Gibson or Doctorow, but I really ought to bump them up on my reading list.

You really should read Doctorow's Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom and Makers. Down features a currency called "whuffie", which is a pure form of social capital. Really fascinating concept. Makers takes on the idea that production is meaningful in that it centers on the invention of 3-D printers, thus pushing everything toward a nascent form of social capital. Makers drags on a bit, but it is worth a read.

AND... all of Doctorow's fiction is available for free at craphound.com. So no excuse not to read his stuff.

I just picked up Doctorow's For The Win, which deals with online gaming and gold-farming. I thought Little Brother was pretty enjoyable, so I'm looking forward to it.

I really enjoyed this one and mentioned it on the previous page of this thread. It is my second favorite of his, after Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

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OK, OK. Color me intrigued. I've never read Stephenson and never heard of Doctorow. Just loaded Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Makers onto my Kindle. Will probably purchase Snow Crash this weekend with my Father's Day Kindle card. If you need me I'll be getting lost in a heretofore unknown literary genre.

Thanks, A&Fers.

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Interview with NS up at Verve. He leaves a few hints about his next "research-heavy" novel, his new essay collection, and the CLANG Kickstarter project:

In order to make this work, we needed to make a case that would pass muster with people who are very sophisticated about games and how games are developed. Anybody who knows anything about developing video games knows that it's a very significant engineering challenge. It would make us look foolish to have a novelist, even if I am a geeky novelist, asking for money to make a game. Everybody would know to some level that that's not real. Our approach was to tell it like it is all the way through and let the chips fall where they may in terms of whether people wanted to fund it or not.

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Neal Stephenson currently has a Kickstarter project...for a realistic sword-fighting video game named CLANG.

 

Clang is now apparently dead in the water:

 

Despite hitting its funding goal of $500,000 last year, development on the game is grinding to a halt, with Stephenson writing on the game's Kickstarter page that CLANG is now an "evenings and weekends" project because the money has run out, and many developers have sought contract work elsewhere.

 

But wait. That's not all. Turns out the money was never going to fund development of the game in the first place; the developers were simply using it as a starting point from which they could attract venture capitalist and/or publisher backing, which for whatever reason hasn't materialised.

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Neal Stephenson currently has a Kickstarter project...for a realistic sword-fighting video game named CLANG.

 

Clang is now apparently dead in the water:

 

Despite hitting its funding goal of $500,000 last year, development on the game is grinding to a halt, with Stephenson writing on the game's Kickstarter page that CLANG is now an "evenings and weekends" project because the money has run out, and many developers have sought contract work elsewhere.

 

But wait. That's not all. Turns out the money was never going to fund development of the game in the first place; the developers were simply using it as a starting point from which they could attract venture capitalist and/or publisher backing, which for whatever reason hasn't materialised.

 

 

Ugh. The same sort of thing happened with this board game, which turned into a real fiasco. 

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I finally caught up with REAMDE. It says something about Stephenson's strengths and weaknesses that all the background to T'Rain is considerably more interesting than his action sequences.

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Stephenson's next novel, Seveneves, will be out in about a month. You can read more on the project (and a blurb, somewhere) on the author's website. The premise is fascinating. 

 

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

Edited by Jason Panella

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