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(Crypto)   Chapter from the Cryptonomicon -- search for the hilarious treasures within   ( divider line
    More: Silly  
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12170 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jan 2004 at 12:24 AM (18 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2004-01-20 12:26:15 AM  
``It's me,'' Alan said. ``But Rudy's joking. `Turing' doesn't really have an umlaut in it.''

``He's going to have an umlaut in him later tonight,'' Rudy said, looking at Alan in a way that, in retrospect, years later, Lawrence would understand to have been smoldering.
2004-01-20 12:27:08 AM  
Great book. Everyone should read it.
2004-01-20 12:27:42 AM  
I dont get it.
2004-01-20 12:28:09 AM  
I have been reading it for a while, but it is a slow read. I did like Snowcrash a lot though.
2004-01-20 12:28:43 AM  
this isnt silly..

that book was farking good!
2004-01-20 12:30:17 AM  
Silly? My copy doubles as my mouse pad!
2004-01-20 12:33:01 AM  
it was a great book, if you can get beyond the beginning.
should be required reading, but alas, it is above about
%90 of the populations reading level. bunch if illiterate arses.
2004-01-20 12:35:24 AM  
The software was never sold to anyone, and indeed could not have been; it was so legally encumbered by that point that it would have been like trying to sell someone a rusty Volkswagen that had been dismantled and its parts hidden in attack dog kennels all over the world.
2004-01-20 12:38:57 AM  

"%90 of the populations reading level. bunch if illiterate arses."

You mispelled a word, have two incomplete sentences and miss an apostrophe in the same paragraph as claiming the population is illiterate? You rock!
2004-01-20 12:39:04 AM  
Great book. Awesome ending.

And of course, there's Snow Crash...

"Jack the sound barrier. Bring the noise."
2004-01-20 12:39:57 AM  
Cryptonomicon was pretty good. QuickSilver, on the other hand, is in need of some serious editing...
2004-01-20 12:41:47 AM  
"Cryptonomicon" was a little slow (I'm kinda retarded when it comes to math)... I started "Quicksilver", and it is SLOOOOOOOOOOWWW so far... of course I tend to read 3 or 4 books at once (damn ADD!)
2004-01-20 12:43:36 AM  
"Still the noise is there, like red-hot knitting needles through the eardrums. Hell's Bells. He spins away from it, but it follows him. He has this big thick strap around his neck, sewn together at groin level where it supports a cup. Thrust into the cup is the central support of his glockenspiel, which stands in front of him like a lyre-shaped breastplate, huge fluffy tassels dangling gaily from the upper corners. Oddly, one of the tassels is burning. That isn't the only thing now wrong with the glockenspiel, but he can't quite make it out because his vision keeps getting obscured by something that must be wiped away every few moments. All he knows is that the glockenspiel has eaten a huge quantum of pure energy and been kicked up to some incredibly high state never before achieved by such an instrument; it is a burning, glowing, shrieking, ringing, radiating monster, a comet, an archangel, a tree of flaming nagnesium, strapped to his body, standing on his groin."
2004-01-20 12:43:39 AM  
Not his best, but better than a lot of the crap written these days. Try Dan Simmons as well.
2004-01-20 12:44:35 AM  

You misspelled "misspelled". You rock harder!
2004-01-20 12:44:52 AM  
'flaming nagnesium'? pfft.
2004-01-20 12:46:14 AM  
Just finished Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Good book, but a lot different than his other stuff. Was a nice change.
2004-01-20 12:48:52 AM  
Neal Stephenson's awesome. So's his alter-ego, Stephen Bury. Check out "Interface" before voting. Talk about poll-driven.
2004-01-20 12:50:50 AM  
utter_bastard, finished pattern recognition yesterday... really strange writing style, but I suppose I liked it.
2004-01-20 12:52:02 AM  
Read Cryptonomicon, pretty good read. I am currently reading Quicksilver because I liked Cryptonomicon. Like jbum said, it could have used another read by the editor(s). I remember one chapter that just ended, as if an entire paragraph or page even had not been printed. I'm probably 3/4ths down at the moment.
2004-01-20 12:52:46 AM  
While we are talking sci-fi, check out Michael Marshall Smith (especially 'Spares'). While Gibson is good, I prefer MMS and Iain (M) Banks any parsec.
2004-01-20 12:54:06 AM  
Cryptonomicon is probably the best book I've read in the last five years, at least. And I read well over 100 books a year. Quicksilver, sadly, sucked ass.

But why is this a link on fark?? I mean, the book is how old now?
2004-01-20 12:54:20 AM  
Good ending? Give me break, that ending sucked. The arrow shot through Americas leg was pointless.
2004-01-20 1:01:56 AM  
favorite sci-fi writers.

Harlan Ellison
Pat Cadigan
John Varley
William Gibson
Neal Stephenson
Ray Bradbury (although I have not read him in years)
Neil Gaiman (not really scifi, but he still owns)

Will have to get back to Cryptonomicon after I finish Tea From an Empty Cup by Cadigan.
2004-01-20 1:03:20 AM  
Untold moments in American History:

Wounded WWII vet Sargeant Shaftoe is interviewed from his hospital bed, on live television, by none other than Ronald Reagan. This is the transcript the government didn't want you to hear:

"Ah, the morphine. It can't be too bad of a nightmare if it comes with morphine, can it?
'You ready?' the voice says. God damn it, that voice is familiar.
'Sir, ask me a tough one, sir!' Shaftoe says.
'You already said that.'
'Sir, if you ask a Marine if he wants another cigarette, or if he's ready, the answer is always the same, sir!'
'That's the spirit', the voice says. 'Roll film.'
Something big descends towards Shaftoe. He flattens himself into the bed, because it looks exactly like those sinister eggs laid in mid-air by Nip dive-bombers.
'Sound.' says another voice.
Shaftoe looks harder and sees that it is not a bomb but a large bullet-shaped microphone on the end of a boom.
The lieutenant with the pompadour leans forward. It is that guy from the movies. Oh yeah!
Ronald Reagan has a stack of three-by-five cards on his lap. He skids up a new one: 'What advice do you, as the youngest American fighting man to ever win both the Navy Cross and the Silver Star, have for any young Marines headed for Guadalcanal?'
Shaftoe doesn't have to think very long. The memories are still as fresh as last night's eleventh nightmare: ten plucky Japs in Suicide Charge!
'Just kill the one with the sword first.'
'Ah,' Reagan says, raising his waxed and pencilled eyebrows, and cocking his pompadour in Shaftoe's direction. "Smart, -- you target them because they're the officers, right?'
'No, farkhead!' Shaftoe yells. 'You kill 'em because they've got farking swords! You ever had someone running at you waving a farking sword?'
2004-01-20 1:04:37 AM  
I did love this book. Everyone should read it.
2004-01-20 1:08:51 AM  
This is a very good book. But it's 4 years old. So why is Fark plugging it by linking to a sample chapter?
2004-01-20 1:12:47 AM  
2004-01-20 12:46:14 AM utter_bastard
Just finished Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Good book, but a lot different than his other stuff. Was a nice change.

Finished it tonight. Really cool read (just started it yesterday), but I'm still lost on part of it. Will the footage continue, or is that it?
2004-01-20 1:20:24 AM  

I suspect that when you're talking about chapters that end like there's a page or a paragraph missing, you're talking about the chapter that ends with a sentence like "Daniel Waterhouse laid back and let his mind wander and then it was" and that's it. That threw me for a loop too for a couple of seconds until I read the next chapter heading, which was something like "London, Plague Year, 1665" and realized that the chapter heading was actually the completion of the sentence and Stephenson was just making use of a segue technique.
2004-01-20 1:22:05 AM  
Am I the only one here who disliked Cryptonomicon? The pacing was lousy, and the book read like he'd been paid by the word.

Don't get me wrong, there were lots of good bits, but the over-all effect was slow and boring.

His technical skills, both as a writer and as a technologist, are outstanding. But he needs to take a chainsaw to his overblown exposition.
2004-01-20 1:22:52 AM  
Is horrible writing supposed to be the gimmick or something? (not sarcasm, I really want to know)
2004-01-20 1:28:07 AM  
icecream75 - the arrow was not entirely pointless. Loeb wanted to take something of value from Randy, so he chose Amy Shaftoe. He had the misfortune of hitting the target in the wrong spot.
2004-01-20 1:29:14 AM  
Stephenson's awesome. I reviewed the Diamond Age on my site, but like I said, it's not nearly as good as Snow Crash.
2004-01-20 1:32:59 AM  
I haven't read Cryponomicon, but the drift of the comments here and the excerpt linked remind me of Gravity's Rainbow. Am I warm?
2004-01-20 1:33:36 AM  
GoodDamon you think Cryptonomicon was long (still kicked ass though), then you shouldnt touch Quicksilver which I've had on my shelf for about two months. It's about 2000 pages or at least looks it (too lazy to get up to check). And it's wordy to the point of being hard to read.
2004-01-20 1:34:57 AM  
I loved this book, and just finished his latest, Quicksilver.

If you liked Cryptonomicon, I recommend it. More Shaftoes.
2004-01-20 1:37:13 AM  
Quicksilver is farking GENIUS!!! C'mon...he uses actual HISTORY to explore the link between religion, politics, and technology. Granted, it's a bit wordy, and it's not for everyone...punk-ass 16 year old script kiddies who think they're "cyberpunk" because they read Neuromancer or Snow Crash shouldn't bother reading was written for those of us with an above average reading level and an interest in the subject.
2004-01-20 1:44:02 AM  
acef - The Loeb character was under developed. I didn't get a solid sense of him. I usually felt disappointed when the story shifted back to present day.
2004-01-20 1:45:20 AM  
Unbelieveable book...Snow Crash was good too, but I am more of a Diamond age fan..,as most of you know, it is a pseuso-sequel to Snow Crash....
2004-01-20 1:46:40 AM  
I preferred Cryptonomicon to Quicksilver, but enjoyed both. Snow Crash is still my favorite.

And no, I don't vote!
2004-01-20 1:48:31 AM  


"%90 of the populations reading level. bunch if illiterate arses."

You mispelled a word, have two incomplete sentences and miss an apostrophe in the same paragraph as claiming the population is illiterate? You rock!

2004-01-20 1:50:39 AM  
"Cryptonomicon was pretty good. QuickSilver, on the other hand, is in need of some serious editing..."

And Cryptonomicon wasn't? Re-read those last few chapters. I swear there are "the the"s on some pages!
2004-01-20 2:04:49 AM  
can someone please tell me why this book is classified as sci fi? almost everything in here seems plausable, and it doesn't really fit the sci fi build, it seems like more of a technothriller.
2004-01-20 2:10:26 AM  
I loved Snow Crash up until perhaps the last fifty pages or so, where Stephenson just started dropping huge paragraphs of exposition and getting lazy with character threads. The ending really disappointed me. Did I miss some stylistic uber-technique or did he just give up?
2004-01-20 2:11:31 AM  
Aranyx - Because Enoch Root, for all intents and purposes, should not be alive in both time zones. But if you can accept he could be, then you'll also have to contend with the fact that he's alive in Quicksilver, which is set 300 years in the past. That's why it's sci fi.

Cryptonomicon was absolutely amazing. And Quicksilver, which I'm halfway through, looks even better.
2004-01-20 2:12:52 AM  
900+ pages AND a Perl script, Stephenson definitely earned his keep with this one.
2004-01-20 2:16:02 AM  
I'll strangle the guy who put a silly tag on the Cryptonomicon >:|
2004-01-20 2:21:00 AM  
Cryptonomicon was pretty good, but then it just kinda stopped... Seemed to me that he only brought half of the plot lines to a conclusion, and they were the least interesting half.

Snow Crash is one of my favorite books, though.

I'm 450 pages into Quicksilver... People keep asking me what its about and I have to admit that I have no idea... Best guess is that its about what a bunch of 17th century nobles were wearing on any given day and whether Newton got it on with Leibniz... I'm sure it'll get good at some point, though.
2004-01-20 2:26:40 AM  

I don't mind long. In fact, I really enjoy long books. I'm in the middle of writing one. But if I am reading for entertainment, I demand good pacing. The "gee whiz" factor of well-done research will only take me so far.

When you set aside the dissertations on cryptology (which is interesting as a science) and the technical research on things like Van Eck Phreaking (which is interesting from a security standpoint), what you are left with is a long story in which probably 60% of what is written didn't need to be there.

A common trap writers fall into is the temptation to "pad" their stories. I'm fighting it constantly myself. In the end, the best thing to do as a writer is to keep the fat to a minimum. Have a speaking role that only shows up for two chapters and doesn't affect the plot? Cut him. Have a flowery description of a place the protagonist spends two seconds looking at? Cut it.

Neal Stephenson's got a lot of talent, but what he needs is someone to tell him "Neal, you've got enough story here for a twenty chapter novel, but you've stretched it into Lord of the Rings. A lot of this stuff is boring, and a lot of it's unnecessary."
2004-01-20 2:32:27 AM  
neal stephenson farkin' rules... his book endings do throw me for a loop or leave me wanting most of the time - but damn that guy can write!
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