Reviews and Articles in General Publications
§ Salon May 25th
John Clute defends science fiction to the readers of Salon. The piece is reprinted Wednesday the 26th on CNN and linked by SciTech Daily Review.
(Wed 26 May 1999)
§ New York Times Book Review May 23rd
A full-page review by Dwight Garner of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon contrasts it with recent post-modernist tomes by David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, and Thomas Pynchon: ''For all the pleasures scattered
throughout those books, they're dry, somewhat forbidding epics that
beckon industrious graduate students while checking the riffraff at the door. ''Cryptonomicon,'' on the other hand, is a wet epic -- as eager to please as a young-adult novel, it wants to blow your mind while keeping you well fed and happy. For the most part, it succeeds. It's brain candy for bitheads.''
§ Boston Sunday Globe May 16th
An article profiles Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, a 14-year-old writer whose first book, a vampire novel, In the Forests of the Night, has just been published by Delacorte.
§ Time May 24th
A 2-page Books article profiles Marina Warner and her book No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). ''A feminist, anti-Freudian thread runs through her work. Unlike Bruno Bettelheim, whose classic work The Uses of Enchantment puts a Freudian gloss on fairy tales, Warner believes the stories 'represent a way of thinking about problems, particularly family problems: intimacy, sexuality and practical areas like money, dowries, property and hierarchy -- who has the power to free women from their poverty?''.
§ Entertainment Weekly May 21st
A short review by Lev Grossman gives Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon an A: ''It's an engrossing look at the way the flow of information shapes history -- as well as a rare glimpse into the soul of the hardcore geek.''
§ Denver Post May 23rd
Fred Cleaver's science fiction column covers Kara Dalkey's Crystal Sage (Roc), George Turner's Down There in Darkness (Tor), Robert Silverberg's anthology Far Horizons (Tor), August Derleth's Arkham House anthology New Horizons: Yesterday's Portraits of Tomorrow, and William Shatner's Get a Life! (Pocket Books -- written with Chris Kreski).
(Tue 25 May 1999)
§ The New Yorker May 17th
An excellent essay [not online] by Oliver Morton contrasts Star Wars with its greatest literary precursor, Isaac Asimov's ''Foundation'' stories.
''Star Wars'' is about speed, faith, and fairy tales, and the ''Foundation'' is about size, science, and history. ...
''Star Wars'' treats technology as essentially malign, inhuman, and untrustworthy (except when producing special effects). Only machines that malfunction -- the Millennium Falcon, the comic droids -- can be good. Don't use the computer, use the Force. In this, it is the antithesis of what Asimov believed. Asimov had an Enlightenment love of reason above all things; and he wanted a better future, not a stirring past.
§ Salon May 19th
Andrew Leonard interviews Neal Stephenson. Cryptonomicon's website features a 40,000 word essay called In the Beginning was the Command Line.
§ New York Times Book Review May 16th
Kurt Andersen's Turn of the Century (Random House) is reviewed by Po Bronson; Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (Scribner) is reviewed briefly by Andrew Essex.
§ New York Times Book Review May 9th
Gerald Jonas reviews Brian Aldiss' autobiography The Twinkling of an Eye, Or, My Life as an Englishman (St. Martin's).
''In England, however, science fiction was never divorced from the mainstream. Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Doris Lessing could borrow science fictional conceits for some of their best-known works without fear of being identified with a subliterary genre. Brian Aldiss is both an inheritor and amplifier of this tradition.''
§ Washington Post Book World May 9th
John Schwartz reviews Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon (Avon).
''Cryptonomicon should be a breakout novel for Stephenson, a chance to show the world he's not just about science fiction. For one thing, the new book isn't even set in the future; its two story lines take place in the present and during World War II. ... So instead of science fiction, let's call it scientifically rich fiction, a phrase that brings Cryptonomicon together with a spiritual cousin, Gravity's Rainbow.''
Also, Douglas E. Winter reviews Elizabeth Hand's Black Light (HarperPrism).
(Thu 20 May 1999)