Science fiction (fantasy?) by Neal Stephenson

I like sci fi but have trouble selecting books and authors. There’s so much out there, lots of it is schlock.

My favorite sci fi novel (by a wide margin) for the past few years is Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I love a convincing, well developed alternate society and the convent-like establishments in Anathem fill the bill. I’m was enjoying myself, and suddenly, in a throwaway line, I found out what the novel is ABOUT. It’s the nuclear priesthood, a concept that emerged in 70s (?) as a suggested way to deal with high level, long lived nuclear waste. Icing on the cake, not essential to the story. Great characters, good plot, well developed (I mean long). Anathem is a book I go back to. Maybe I will download it onto my Kindle for my next long trip.

Recently I picked up another Stephenson book, Snow Crash. Very dystopian. Corporations own and run almost everything. Much of life is conducted virtually, in an alternate “game” universe. If you like gritty, fast paced sci fi, this book is for you. I finished it, but without much pleasure.

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