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(io9)   Neal Stephenson: Real life fruit ninja   ( io9.com) divider line
    More: Cool, fruits  
•       •       •

5344 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Jan 2013 at 6:05 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-13 03:17:54 PM  
This is a song video about a knife.
 
2013-01-13 05:42:11 PM  
Stephenson doesn't have any zanshin at all. He just wants this over with. The next time the cantaloupe sets up its ear-splitting screech and shuffles toward Stephenson, presenting and reticulating its skin, Stephenson parries the attack, turns around, and cuts the melon neatly in half just through its prime meridian.
 
2013-01-13 06:08:56 PM  
Hey you hack, maybe spend more time writing instead of this wankery. Honestly could never get past 10 pages of any of his books.
 
2013-01-13 06:15:07 PM  
Where are my gippers!?
 
2013-01-13 06:25:11 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hey you hack, maybe spend more time writing instead of this wankery. Honestly could never get past 10 pages of any of his books.


Yeah, that's about when he starts using 3 syllable words.
 
2013-01-13 06:25:24 PM  
Rat Thing is better.
 
2013-01-13 06:25:47 PM  
That's no way to defend yourself against fresh fruit.

This is
Link
 
2013-01-13 06:38:36 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hey you hack, maybe spend more time writing instead of this wankery. Honestly could never get past 10 pages of any of his books.


If you don't like his books, why would you want him to write more?

/water isn't a fruit
//is his game ready yet?
 
2013-01-13 06:46:04 PM  
Wrong tag imageshack.us
 
2013-01-13 06:56:08 PM  
Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!
 
2013-01-13 07:09:19 PM  
More books - less chopping stuff (though he did post on twitter the other day that he'd got a shiatload of fountain pen cartridges, so that implies that some writing is going on) (he writes by hand and then types it into the computer)
 
2013-01-13 07:11:35 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!


You would just LOVE Diamond Age.
 
2013-01-13 07:21:18 PM  
Now try that when a 7 foot tall 300 pound Aleut is throwing harpoons at you.
 
2013-01-13 07:47:29 PM  
 
2013-01-13 07:50:05 PM  

lewismarktwo: Quantum Apostrophe: Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!

You would just LOVE Diamond Age.


I certainly think that is is best work, so far.
 
2013-01-13 08:02:07 PM  

BullBearMS: lewismarktwo: Quantum Apostrophe: Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!

You would just LOVE Diamond Age.

I certainly think that is is best work, so far.


I loved the System of the World trilogy. It amazing how dated Snowcrash has become. All his sagas have wonderful detail and then its like hes not sure how to end them.
 
2013-01-13 08:16:26 PM  

quickdraw: BullBearMS: lewismarktwo: Quantum Apostrophe: Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!

You would just LOVE Diamond Age.

I certainly think that is is best work, so far.

I loved the System of the World trilogy. It amazing how dated Snowcrash has become. All his sagas have wonderful detail and then its like hes not sure how to end them.


Now I have to agree that the Diamond Age doesn't so much end as it suddenly stops.

I was kind of reminded of Larry Niven saying that his works create playgrounds for the mind. I found that to be true of Snow Crash and the Diamond Age. I spent a lot of time thinking about what might happen in those two fictional worlds.
 
2013-01-13 08:28:33 PM  
I prefer Zodiac
 
2013-01-13 08:38:19 PM  

kasmel: I prefer Zodiac


Zodiac and Cryptonomicon. C is a bit dated now but holds up better than Snow Crash. I got about 1/2 way through Quicksilver and just couldn't do any more.

Cobweb and Interface were both really good and still hold up.
 
2013-01-13 08:39:00 PM  
"This is what your avatar wears. You do not carry such weapons in Reality," the businessman says. In English.

"I'm sorry to be difficult, but in fact, I do carry such weapons in Reality," Hiro says.

"Exactly like these?"

"Exactly."

"These are ancient weapons, then," the businessman says.

"Yes, I believe they are."

"How did you come to be in possession of such important family heirlooms from Nippon?" the businessman says.

Hiro knows the subtext here: What do you use those swords for, boy, slicing watermelon?
 
2013-01-13 08:40:05 PM  
I was expecting a glass sword.
 
2013-01-13 08:50:41 PM  
Diamond Age, The Baroque Cycle, and Cryptonomicon are my favorites at this point.

Didn't love Anathem, and agree with those who said Snow Crash really feels dated. The Big U and Zodiac were obviously the work of a young, unpolished writer.

Haven't read the books he co-authored with his uncle, and I haven't read his collaborative Internet novel (Mongoliad) either.

Still in the middle of REAMDE, but haven't finished it, so not going to pass judgment on it yet.
 
2013-01-13 08:54:14 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hey you hack, maybe spend more time writing instead of this wankery.


There are lots of complaints you could raise against Neal Stephenson, but "doesn't write enough" is not one of them.

That said, I was underwhelmed by this. I was expecting that by playing the video, I would be downloading a virus that would cause the light on my "NumLock" key to start blinking the Fibonacci series, which, for complicated reasons, would lead to Russian mobsters setting fire to my grandfather's old steamer trunk... in a parallel universe.
 
2013-01-13 08:55:26 PM  

RoyBatty: Stephenson doesn't have any zanshin at all. He just wants this over with. The next time the cantaloupe sets up its ear-splitting screech and shuffles toward Stephenson, presenting and reticulating its skin, Stephenson parries the attack, turns around, and cuts the melon neatly in half just through its prime meridian.


Thread's over. We have a winner.
 
2013-01-13 08:59:37 PM  
I just finally got around to reading Neuromancer, and now I finally get why so many fanboys have a hate-on for Stephenson... sort of.

I read Cryptonomicon first years ago, just because I love cryptology sci-fi, and I loved it. Then I read Snow Crash, and loved it, but some of the preachiness sort of bugged me. I still re-read it every once in a while, just because I love the universe Stephenson created, and wish there were more direct sequels about the burbclaves and franchised nations.

Comparing Snow Crash and Crypnomicon to Neuromancer was like comparing Chuck Palahniuk to Vladimir Nabokov. One is neat stories that are easily digestible, and perfect for a consumerist world. The other is an actual intellectual discourse, and a work of art.
 
2013-01-13 09:01:02 PM  
And then he finds a gold mine that solves all problems. The End.

/worked for Cryptonomicon.
 
2013-01-13 09:11:51 PM  
POOR IMPULSE CONTROL
 
2013-01-13 09:31:09 PM  

Donkey Hodie: I was expecting a glass sword.


That would have been Robert Jordan.
 
2013-01-13 09:33:05 PM  

Doc Daneeka: Didn't love Anathem


Anathem only makes sense if you have been to grad school - at least the first part of the book. The second  part only makes sense if you are on shrooms.
 
2013-01-13 09:41:48 PM  

Dionysus: Begs to Differ


My eyes lit up when he slashed the twinkie. I bet he regrets that now.
 
2013-01-13 09:42:20 PM  

quickdraw: Doc Daneeka: Didn't love Anathem

Anathem only makes sense if you have been to grad school - at least the first part of the book.


I have a PhD in genetics.

It wasn't that I didn't understand the book. I understood it just fine. The problem was that the plot never really captured my interest. And I never cared much about any of the characters or what happened to them.

It felt like Stephenson read a few books about monastic life and about metaphysics and wanted a place to play around with some ideas, rather than actually write a compelling story.
 
2013-01-13 10:02:55 PM  

Doc Daneeka: quickdraw: Doc Daneeka: Didn't love Anathem

Anathem only makes sense if you have been to grad school - at least the first part of the book.

I have a PhD in genetics.

It wasn't that I didn't understand the book. I understood it just fine. The problem was that the plot never really captured my interest. And I never cared much about any of the characters or what happened to them.

It felt like Stephenson read a few books about monastic life and about metaphysics and wanted a place to play around with some ideas, rather than actually write a compelling story.


I despise Anathem. I enjoyed his other books, but Anathem was one of the few books I've likened to a mental virus... and the only book I've ever wanted to burn for heresy after reading it. His perversion of the English language was heretical. The plot was survivable (if not a knock-off of Orson Scott Card), but his use of antonyms for synonyms was pure mental virus.

/did not burn the book, just want to
 
2013-01-13 10:08:27 PM  
Neal Stephenson: Author who never knew how to end a book.
 
2013-01-13 10:09:23 PM  

Doc Daneeka: It felt like Stephenson read a few books about monastic life and about metaphysics and wanted a place to play around with some ideas, rather than actually write a compelling story.


He rides a weird line between those two poles in all his books. I think that's why I like him yet am frustrated by him at the same time.
 
2013-01-13 10:12:15 PM  
Anathem was rough for about 300 pages, but I quite liked it after that.

Quicksilver was tedious as fark. I managed to finish it, but only just barely, and I don't know if I'm brave enough to have a go at the next book in the series (although it would seem it could only be better than Quicksilver).
 
2013-01-13 10:14:55 PM  

quickdraw: Anathem only makes sense if you have been to grad school


No doubt. And I'll never quarrel with anyone who doesn't like the book on those grounds because a lot of it truly is screaming FARK YOU IF YOU DON'T GET ENCRYPTED REFERENCES TO OBSCURE TOPICS IN NEOPLATONISM at the reader.

But if you actually did study exactly those things in graduate school, it's like getting a blowjob from a supermodel who is also a motivational speaker.
 
2013-01-13 10:23:16 PM  

semiotix: But if you actually did study exactly those things in graduate school


I studied that stuff as an undergrad. I suppose I did in wrong. But yeah, if you don't have a philosophy background, it's a really tough book to understand.
 
2013-01-13 10:28:59 PM  

swahnhennessy: Neal Stephenson: Author who never knew how to end a book.


This this this a thousand times this. 'And they all went home' seems to be how every one of them finishes.
 
2013-01-13 10:29:02 PM  

Doc Daneeka: Still in the middle of REAMDE, but haven't finished it, so not going to pass judgment on it yet.


REAMDE is a fun action movie of a book. It can be exhausting, though. There's those hundreds-page long action sequences that leave you gasping for air and desperate for a break.

China White Tea: and I don't know if I'm brave enough to have a go at the next book in the series (although it would seem it could only be better than Quicksilver).


Quicksilver is easily the slowest of that entire series. The Confusion is much more fun since it focuses more on Jack Shaftoe.
 
2013-01-13 10:29:14 PM  
Anathem was very good.

README was just awful.
 
2013-01-13 10:30:50 PM  

China White Tea: Anathem was rough for about 300 pages, but I quite liked it after that.

Quicksilver was tedious as fark. I managed to finish it, but only just barely, and I don't know if I'm brave enough to have a go at the next book in the series (although it would seem it could only be better than Quicksilver).


You should.

The plot picks up quite a lot in the 2nd and 3rd books. I tend to think of the first volume as basically 1000 pages of exposition for what comes after.
 
2013-01-13 10:39:44 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Nightenstaff: Everyone deserves a chance. But I've tried and tried, and I just couldn't make it through. Maybe he has good ideas, who knows? Not me!


the first time I made it through Snow Crash was after skipping the first chapter describing Hiro. It went much better after that, & the next time I read it that part gave me no trouble - it seemed to be much more humorous/intentionally ridiculous than I initially perceived it.

Diamond Age is the most accessible of his I've tried, just love it. Still have never finished Cryptonomicon - it's good, but I dunno...just lose the thread somehow. Working on the Baroque Cycle now. Never had the same trouble with Gibson, but... I dunno, it's like Tolkien vs CS Lewis - one of them has a bit more humor (Tolkien/Stephenson) whereas Gibson/Lewis are all straight talk. Both are excellent, but a bit of humor for me adds to the enjoyment.

Now, where's Raven & the knives of glass?
 
2013-01-13 10:42:27 PM  

Doc Daneeka: China White Tea: Anathem was rough for about 300 pages, but I quite liked it after that.

Quicksilver was tedious as fark. I managed to finish it, but only just barely, and I don't know if I'm brave enough to have a go at the next book in the series (although it would seem it could only be better than Quicksilver).

You should.

The plot picks up quite a lot in the 2nd and 3rd books. I tend to think of the first volume as basically 1000 pages of exposition for what comes after.


Yeah I think thats true. Its the story of our current monetary system with a side of Tantra, Smallpox and Rococo. The first book is kind of scattered, the second two are tight until the the end which ends the way they all do with me going "hunh."
 
2013-01-13 10:48:45 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hey you hack, maybe spend more time writing instead of this wankery. Honestly could never get past 10 pages of any of his books.


The only book by him I've read is Cryptonomicon. The guy seemed like a perfect writer for the slashdot crowd -- he was very pleased with himself because of how awesome he knew himself to be.
 
2013-01-13 10:54:13 PM  

semiotix: But if you actually did study exactly those things in graduate school, it's like getting a blowjob from a supermodel who is also a motivational speaker.


So, she'll be kind of smug and self absorbed, but later she'll be very persuasive when she tells other people how great it was for you?
 
2013-01-13 11:10:48 PM  

Doc Daneeka: Still in the middle of REAMDE, but haven't finished it, so not going to pass judgment on it yet.


Is it worth starting? I struggled with Anathem but gave high marks to Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and Diamond Age.
 
2013-01-13 11:22:35 PM  

PinocchioDeBergerac: Is it worth starting? I struggled with Anathem but gave high marks to Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and Diamond Age.


I enjoyed Reamde. It's vastly more accessible than Anathem. I liked Cryptonomicon and Diamond Age more, but Reamde has a slightly more traditional plot trajectory. It's less of an "ideas" book and more of a story.
 
2013-01-13 11:29:38 PM  

PinocchioDeBergerac: Doc Daneeka: Still in the middle of REAMDE, but haven't finished it, so not going to pass judgment on it yet.

Is it worth starting? I struggled with Anathem but gave high marks to Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and Diamond Age.


I've read all of his books and I generally like them.  REAMDE was more traditional but his still dealt with his pet theme of the nature of information flow.
 
2013-01-14 12:10:20 AM  

China White Tea: Anathem was rough for about 300 pages, but I quite liked it after that.

Quicksilver was tedious as fark. I managed to finish it, but only just barely, and I don't know if I'm brave enough to have a go at the next book in the series (although it would seem it could only be better than Quicksilver).


Quicksilver is basically a bunch of historian inside jokes. My wife specializes in the Restoration. While I was reading it, she got lots of "hey, is this right?" from me. Most of the time the answer was 'Yeah, but that isn't the guy's name". When I would go 'Oh, you have to hear this - Stephenson went off the rails here", her response was 'Oh, that really happened just like that" on a disquietingly large number of occassions. The other two are basically him riding his contraption down a steep hill after gaining momentum in book 1
 
2013-01-14 12:19:07 AM  

PinocchioDeBergerac: Doc Daneeka: Still in the middle of REAMDE, but haven't finished it, so not going to pass judgment on it yet.

Is it worth starting? I struggled with Anathem but gave high marks to Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and Diamond Age.


I'm still convinced that REAMDE is a giant fark you to people who hate his inability to end books. I read it as a fairly formulaic techno-thriller with the climax about page 300, and the next 700 pages were the longest, most complex denouement possible - and he still didn't stick the ending. That being said, I thought it was better than Anathem (which I enjoyed much more the second time through*), and about equal to the Baroque Cycle

* I think part of my problem with Anathem was that his forward says there is a secret you might not want to know - and then gives it away IN THE VERY NEXT farkING LINE. I literally was processing the warning while reading the spoiler. Would it have killed him to write a paragraph of meaningless drivel between the two as a buffer?
 
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