I have a swollen uvula after my visit to the ER, and my head is all stuffed up. Welcome to the wonderful world of Bird Flu! 0 votes - 0 % You said "uvula." 1 vote - 100 % 1 Total Votes
The only Stephenson I've read is Cryptonomicon by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue May 23, 2006 at 03:54:49 AM EST
But I pretty much agree with your analysis. My biggest complaint was that almost complete lack of character development in the female characters. For the most part they seemed to be used entirely as recepticles for the penii of the male characters. But I don't know if all his books suffer from that defect. Reading Cryptonomicon has not inspired me to read any further Stephenson. Although, I've had a few people tell me that I would like Diamond Age.

I'm glad to hear that your severe and debilitating pain was only a pulled muscle and not something immediately heart stopping. That's some bad mojo you've got going.

Lastly, this is the internet, it's NYC and not New York and not New York City. When speaking, I believe that New York is the proper usage because what is there in New York state outside of the city?

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
The by blixco (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:10:58 AM EST
character YT in Snow Crash is a teenage girl, but she's a stereotype of a teenage girl trying to be a skate punk.  Nothing tough there.  And the protagonist is named Hiro Protagonist, which should have been a pretty big fucking clue that he was just making fun of us, the general public.

Diamond Age is decent, it really is.  Impossible science, but the female lead is well done.

NYC is it?  Is that pronounced "Nick" or "Nighk"?
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
In Diamond Age the protagonist is a girl by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #25 Tue May 23, 2006 at 10:50:18 AM EST
but, on reflection, I see your point - just about every damn woman in his books exists to be a handy sperm storage unit.

In the case of The Diamond Age that's even literally true...

--
You're no good to me dead. Even half-alive would be socially awkward. - Hugh MacLeod

[ Parent ]
organ mountains by martingale (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:02:31 AM EST
Cool. What kind of organ do they look like? Heh. He, he, snort.
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
A pipe organ.. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:07:51 AM EST
....OH, I get it.

No, yeah, there's a chimney in one of the canyons that is totally penile.  I have a picture of it somewhere, I'll have to locate it.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
locating it should be easy by martingale (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:13:14 AM EST
I bet it stands up. OUT, out I mean.
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
Molly's Nipple by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:26:02 AM EST
In Utah.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
James Clavell: Worst endings EVAR! by atreides (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:09:50 AM EST
Spend 700 pages following 50 characters with multiple plotlines. Disaster happens, killing off half the characters, including main protagonists. Life goes on.

I just summed up Taipan and Noble House for you. Hope that helps!

In his defense, though, Terry Pratchett and Harry Turtledove and even the great Neil Gaiman seem to have a bit of trouble with their endings...

Have you seen The Passion yet? Here's a spoiler for you: Jesus dies.
"...compassion is more than a 16 point word in scrabble." - MostlyHarmless

True. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:17:36 AM EST
Endings are difficult to write.  But they shouldn't be so tough that the author says "fuck it!" and just throws in the towel wiht an "everyone dies" dead end or a "and they woke up" dream ending.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
I thought his only decent ending was The Big U by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:11:22 AM EST
you can tell he plotted it out, as the necessary ante-Gotterdammerungesque steps were being taken pages and pages before the end.

Now, his portrayal of lesbians was taken straight from adult videos it seems. He should just forget about female characters, he can't write them.

He sets up by blixco (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:14:26 AM EST
his endings, but the actual closer is typically inadequate.  In The Big U, the closer is two paragraphs.  That's just wrong.

And in Cryptonomicon, the closer is the lead male character turning around and saying "what?"

He should maybe give himself four, five pages to really wind things up properly.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Dukes of Hazard by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:39:11 AM EST
YOU HAVE JUST RUINED MY CHILDHOOD

I missed Snow Crash first time round but tried it last year. It has dated very badly - starting on a scene about a bloke with dreadlocks hacking didn't really inspire me. I didn't get very far with it, for the same reasons you cite.

You're right, clarity is very important, unless you're Burroughs or Joyce and really, really know what you're doing.

For what it's worth I don't think your writing voice is in the slightest bit annoying.

--------

The thing about endings by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:45:15 AM EST
Is that it's always hard to know when to s

-
Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
I'm swimming upstream here by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:35:41 AM EST
But I've never had any problem with his endings. In fact I kinda like them. Non traditional, much like his 50 page analysis of eating cheerios in the morning and whatnot. It's like an in-joke.

I've always thought the "bag on Stephenson" for his endings thing was one of those self propagating things that tends to feed on itself. But I'm hardly a literary-ologist, so what do I know.

I do need to re-read Snow Crash again. I really enjoyed that one.

Warmest regards,

Well, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:39:06 AM EST
to be truthful, I do enjoy the story.  I just wish it was better written.

I thought the complaint about his endings was fairly unique.  Other people agree?!?  Yay!

I dunno.  Great story ideas, and some really good bits, but damnit I wish they were better.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
He's no Hemingway, fer shur by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:49:35 AM EST
You should check the Slashdot archives for discussions on his endings.

Warmest regards,

[ Parent ]
I agree by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:48:14 AM EST
Snow Crash was the first one I read, and I liked it fine right up until the end, at which point I said, "What the fuck?  It just... stops?!"  No, your response to his endings is far from unique.

I liked Zodiac and Cryptonomicon, and Crypto seemed to end a bit better. His military scenes with Bobby Shaftoe are great.  But his women?  No.  Just no.  I've seen cardboard standups with more depth.  To be fair, his men aren't that deep either.

And I'm unconvinced that he has ever had sex with a real woman, considering his descriptions.  I can't imagine the lead in the Baroque cycle throwing off her virginity, given how valuable a commodity it is, to make a point that could be made better without actually consummating the act.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
True. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:02:00 AM EST
His women seem to be some idealized fantasy / hate icon from a spurned youth.  Eliza in particular fits a sort of porno librarian thing that doesn't exist in the wild.

I thought the girls in Diamond Age were well done...as girls and teens.  He sort of loses Nell there at the end as she transitions from girl to leader of the world's most powerful army...not an easy thing to pull off.

But her character lacks any of the complexity that, say, the old soldier that she lives with for a while has.  He's barely in the thing and has depth, complexity, and is a fascinating dude.  Nell is just a sponge: she learns and applies as needed, and that's about it.  So maybe she's not quite as developed as I like to believe.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Not read that one by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #24 Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:51:16 AM EST
One protagonist in Snow Crash is a teenage girl, but because teenagers are undeveloped as people, it didn't bother me so much that as a character she was underdeveloped.

As for the other, it's a rare species, and short-lived.  They generally marry and enter captivity.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
MWA-HAHAHAHAHAHA by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:24:17 PM EST
Eliza in particular fits a sort of porno librarian thing that doesn't exist in the wild.HAHAHAHAHAHAsnortleHAHAHAHAHAHA

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
yes, you do by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:37:39 AM EST
You capitalize "City" because it obviates the need to preface it with "New York."

Craig Childs says getting lost in these big, overgrown, overbuilt cities is a lot like getting lost in the canyons of the Southwest but, you know, kind of backwards.

--
"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

I think by blixco (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:41:32 AM EST
solitude marks being lost in the southwest.  But maybe there's some sort of personal space solitude that comes from big cities, where a person is alone in an area as big as their body vs. a space as big as big.

Hrm.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
yep. by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #29 Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:54:31 PM EST
There is a level of anonymity you get in cities like NYC that doesn't exist anywhere else. If you want, you can be nothing more than a flash in the short term memory of a few people on the street.
[ Parent ]
One Caps City . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #18 Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:04:37 AM EST
Because the full name is New York City, as opposed to New York, which is the state. You do the same for Kansas City.

If you come to town, let me know. I'll buy first round.

It'll have to be by blixco (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:10:02 AM EST
first and last, but yeah, I'll let ya know.  I'm 99 percent sure we'll get there sometime this year.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
I'm unsure by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #22 Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:26:45 AM EST
of your logic. The USPS prefers that you address mail to "New York, NY" sans "City" (although we've had that discussion about what counts as "New York" as far as the USPS is concerned) but the official forms for both KCKS and KCMO are "Kansas City." One can certainly refer to the city as just plain "New York" with complete clarity but "Kansas" is never the city instead of the state.

Still, we agree on the which, if not the why.

--
"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
I Unsure of Your Use of the Term Logic. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 2) #23 Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:37:52 AM EST
I would have thought my statement was more of an "unsupported assertion boldly proclaimed."

Trying to use logic, I'd assume you cap city because it comes part of the proper name when used as it was used in Blixco's diary. This is norm for any city, but the construction is usually "the City of San Francisco" or "the City of Akron."

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure the USPS gets a vote by lm (4.00 / 1) #26 Tue May 23, 2006 at 11:06:26 AM EST
The city name'' used by the USPS is actually the name of the post office which processes mail for the area under discussion. For example, the town my dad lived the last years of his life in was serviced by three different post offices. If you lived in one section of the town, you're mailing address was in Dayton, OH. But if you lived in another part of the town, your USPS address was in Xenia, OH. And if you lived in another part, your address was Fairborn, OH. Then, the town got its own post office, but it was a branch of the Dayton post office, so the mailing address for the whole town was changed to Dayton, OH even though the name of the town was Beavercreek.

In other words, the USPS designation of New York simply means that such is the name of the NYC post office. It has no bearing on whether or not NYC has City as part of its name or not.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Stephenson by 606 (4.00 / 1) #27 Tue May 23, 2006 at 01:58:17 PM EST
I recally I likes Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicon for the most part. I gave up about 400 pages into that giant three-parter series, right at the point where Newton was arguing over currencies with a Jew.

ON PREVIEW: I'm not going to correct that first sentence because I like how whacked it looks. What was I typing, exactly? Wow.

-----
imagine dancing banana here

I loved Snow Crash. by Canthros (4.00 / 1) #28 Tue May 23, 2006 at 02:35:26 PM EST
Granted, there's really no taking it seriously, and the ending is quite anti-climactic. (I think it'd make a fun comic book, actually.)

I also recall enjoying Cryptonomicon, although the WWII subplot was, I think, rather more interesting than the present-day main plot. On the whole, though, it was over-long and a bit masturbatoryself-congratulatory as regards the dot-com/geek culture.

--
I'm not here, man.

Yep. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed May 24, 2006 at 02:26:44 AM EST
In Cryptonomicon, the stuff with Shaftoe was great, and some of the stories around ww2 crypto were cool.

I like the story in Snow Crash, and it's probably better than 60 percent of the stuff out there, but it's just....I used to love it, and now I can hardly read it without laughing at his lack of discipline.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Oddly, by grendel (4.00 / 1) #30 Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:54:27 PM EST
after seeing y'all, I finished both Payne books you gave me, then I dug out my copy of Snow Crash and reread it. I still dig on it. Then I reread The Illustrated Man and then started reading Mutiny on the Bounty. As for Mutiny I'm really shocke I went so long wihout reading it before. I adored Youth in Revolt, the sequel, was a sequel, more of the same, but enjoyable.

I want you to be better my man, we just need to get just the right sharp bit of science and cyborg-ize you.