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Sci-Fi Books Moon

First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online 110

An anonymous reader writes Neal Stephenson has just released a teaser comprising the first 26 pages of his new novel Seveneves. The first words? "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason."
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First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online

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  • Wait! (Score:3, Funny)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:31AM (#49470111) Homepage Journal

    That's no moon. It's a space station!

  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:38AM (#49470215)

    "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." sounds a lot like a sci-fi version of "It was a dark and stormy night."

    • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:48AM (#49470305)
      No, this is the sci-fi version:

      It was a dark and stormy night; the lead sulfide rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of ammonium wind which swept up the streets (for it is on Omicron Theta 1 that our story lies). In other words, a typical day on the dark side of a tidally locked planet.
    • "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." sounds a lot like a sci-fi version of "It was a dark and stormy night."

      Sounds like a Disaster Area [wikipedia.org] song.

    • Part of the game with novels is to put something intriguing in the first paragraph, preferably the first sentence. Something that will make a browser at the airport bookstore want to read more, if just to figure out how that's even possible. Something like, "Being dead turned out to have its advantages".

      I kind of make a game of reading novel first lines. IMHO, starting off with an exploding moon make this one of the better ones I've seen.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:40AM (#49470243) Journal

    "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason."

    We know the reason -- because Khloe wanted her ass to look like Kim's.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what does Chairface Chippendale think of this turn of events?

  • by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:52AM (#49470365)
    Neil's works are hit and miss for me. I loved Cryptonomicon and Reamde was pretty good. I'm not into fantasy, so some of his books don't appeal at all to me. I'll get this one on Audible.
    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Ugh, I'm a huge Stephenson fan but I could not stand Reamde.

      • by Rob Bos ( 3399 )

        I quite liked REAMDE, personally. Well paced, fun. Opinions, right?

      • Totally agree. He spends 200 pages constructing quite an ingenious plot then totally throws the baby out with the bathwater. I can see the last 800 pages of REAMDE appealing to Wacky Races fans though.

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @10:57AM (#49470413) Homepage Journal
    After that shitfest you can't pay me to read anything by Stephenson ever again.
    • That seems a bit harsh. I could have done without all the geographic exposition towards the end of REAMDE, but when the pace was fast, it was a great read. Anathem was wonderful also. The first pages of this latest one has me very much wanting to buy it.
      • I've been listening to anathem on audible and enjoying it greatly. I've actually started leaving for work during rush hour, since it means I get to listen for an extra 30 minutes in order to arrive at work 5 minutes sooner. win-win.
    • Re:Remember REAMDE (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:52PM (#49472287) Homepage Journal

      REAMDE is why I will probably read his new book. There were several times (especially in the first hundred pages or so) when I was laughing my ass off. Neal Stephenson is a good writer. There, I said it. (Oooh, what a limb I'm going out on!)

      He's less of a good story-maker, and I think people who complained 20 years ago about him not being able to end a story well, would probably say he hasn't improved. I'm not sure I was all that excited by the story of REAMDE either. So either fuck the story, or just enjoy whatever you can within it. But that aside, the guy has a wonderful way with words and throughout REAMDE I kept thinking "I've missed this guy," since I hadn't read him since Cryptonomicon. Just get him talking.

  • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @11:03AM (#49470475) Journal
    Well, I can already predict what the final sentence of this novel is going to be:

    Nosaer tnerappa on rof dna gninraw tuohtiw pu welb noom eht.

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • Neal, you tease.

  • by PseudoThink ( 576121 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @12:08PM (#49471117)
    Loved Snow Crash, liked Crypto and Reamde, but the Baroque Cycle was a bit too dense for me, and I bought Anathema without ever opening it. I hadn't planned on getting into Seveneves unless the reviews were glowing, but the first 26 pages were a quick and compelling tease, enough to sell me. I'll get this on Audible, too. Smart move, making the first hit free, Neal!
    • If you liked snow crash and diamond age, you'll probably like anathem.
      • by linearZ ( 710002 )

        Have to agree. The only problem with Anathem it takes about 300 pages to get started. I know a few people that put that put that book down. But once it gets started, Anathem is a very good book. Just could have used a bit of editing.

        Editing seems to be the problem with Neal Stephenson's post-Crypto stuff. The Baroque Cycle often seemed more like Neal showing off his historical research than writing a book of fiction. If he wanted to write three volumes about 17th century technology and finance, non-fic

        • I hope it doesn't get edited. I enjoy the tangents and showing off of research (though I'll agree that the baroque cycle overdid it a bit). That's what makes his writing unique compared to other authors in those genres.
          • by linearZ ( 710002 )

            Oh, the tangents are great. Crytonomicon had some of the best with Turing's bike, granny furniture, and shoes in the Philippines.

            But I have trouble believing that SnowCrash, Crytonomicon, and Diamond Age weren't edited. It would have been way too easy for those books to jump the rails in a baroque way.

        • by Bratch ( 664572 )
          I have tried three times to get through Anathem, but can't seem to get myself past about the first 1/4 or 1/3 of it. My first attempt was just after finishing Cryptonomicon, so maybe I went into it expecting something similar, but it was nothing like it. On my next attempt I will try harder to get past the first 300 pages and see how it improves beyond that point.
    • I couldn't finish the first book in the Baroque Cycle; the first two sections were fine, but the last section of that book just drug! Never bothered to purchase the next two books in the series. Anathema was good, just took some time to get into the world he was creating; again the ending of his books need some work, I don't think I could tell you how Anathema ended. But good book. Reamde was a good read as well. Hopefully this new book will be worth reading.
      • by Lluc ( 703772 )
        I agree -- I read the first volume of the Baroque Cycle and couldn't find motivation to read any more. It had some great moments, but they were too few to make it a good book. I wonder if he did so well with Cryptonomicon that he decided to write the Baroque Cycle without an editor. Maybe if I was really bored or didn't have any other books to read I would pick it up again.
  • I would recommend waiting for an abridged version. Otherwise most people will pull aloud WTF! and close the book for good while slogging through one of (_many_) extremely boring and only marginally related to the main story tangents.
    • In my opinion the tangents were what made the books awesome. I particularly loved Tourings bike chain timing in Cryptonomicon, followed closely by relating the crew served machine gun to sawmill machinery. The bit where they come up with a complex algorithm to divvy up inherited goods on a 2d graph and use time on a supercomputer to calculate who gets what was also pretty good, though not technically a tangent.
      • by Rob Bos ( 3399 )

        The diversions and tangents are totally the best part.

        • In many conversations the parts that cannot be directly discussed, and that may only be approached in tangents, are frequently the most interesting and informative.

          I learned quite a lot about information systems from the long and tangential stories of a retired mathematician who had decided to work at the local DOT as a form of amusement. He had odd habits like programming off of the top of his head at the card punch machine, and a demonstrated ability to know the current price of any US 50 cent piece ever

      • by sshir ( 623215 )
        And that's the problem - they _were_ fun in Cryptonomicon. But not because of being tangents but because of being wonderfully geeky. Alas, Neal decided that the fun of side stories are side stories themselves - not their content. As a result - his later books can be cut to 1/3 and be a much better read.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So a sudden and abrupt start rather than a sudden and abrupt ending? At least he's trying something new.

  • by Xenna ( 37238 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @12:50PM (#49471533)

    That's not how you do online marketing. Try this:

    The first 26 pages of Neal Stephenson's new bestseller were *leaked* to the internet!

    That's work much better...

  • I really liked Cryptonomicon, but like others here, I bought Anathem, and just couldn't get into it. I hope they make a movie based on it, but it would be brutal. I think even Peter Jackson said it would be too long. Seveneves looks like it might be a fun read.
  • Thanks, have a nice day :) http://www.educa.net/entrenado... [educa.net]

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun