Inverarity (inverarity) wrote in bookish,

Saturday Book Giveaway: 90s Cyberpunk Classics

The winner of last week's Tony Hillerman giveaway is sitaangel. Your books have been mailed!

This week I am giving away three books by one of my favorite authors, Neal Stephenson.

Neal Stephenson

  • Zodiac (1988)
  • Snow Crash (1992)
  • The Diamond Age (1995)

I was and remain a big fan of Neal Stephenson, though I was never able to get through his Baroque Cycle, and his latest doorstopper, Reamde, was too long and too derivative of Cryptonomicon. Cryptonomicon is my favorite book by Stephenson, and is actually on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I also have it in hardcover and am not giving it away, sorry.

A close second, though, is Snow Crash, which reignited the cyberpunk craze in the early 90s. I absolutely adored Snow Crash when I first read it. It's a little dated and I have read reviews by other people who have read it more recently and felt it did nothing for them (pretty much how I felt about Snow Crash's literary pater, William Gibson's Neuromancer). But it still ranks as one of my favorite books, at least in my memories. (I have actually refrained from rereading it for fear that it wouldn't hold up twenty years later.)

Stephenson writes awesome action sequences, he has a pretty good blend of literary style with genre convention, and yes, he does love his infodumps. If you like big thick character-driven doorstoppers, you should check out Cryptonomicon, Reamde, Anathem (one of the few I haven't read yet), and for historical fiction, the Baroque Cycle (which, unfortunately, was too much faffing around and not enough plot for me).

But the paperbacks I am giving away today are some of his shorter, earlier works and they are more in the straight SF/cyberpunk genre.

Zodiac is an "eco-thriller", and was his second book. I remember enjoying it, though it was obviously something he'd written much earlier.

The Diamond Age is also cyberpunkish, but more futuristic than Snow Crash. It's a weird blend of a nanotech Dickensian future mixing highly speculative sci-fi elements and almost regressive literary influences (Neo-Victorians vs. Han Chinese vs. multicultural New Atlanteans). It had some really awesome ideas and I liked the main character while finding the plot a little bit all over the place; like Snow Crash, it tends to be loved by Stephenson's fans and 'meh'ed by others.

So, if you would like this free Neal Stephenson sampler, comment below.


1. Only ask for them if you seriously want to read them. I would appreciate it if you eventually post reviews here on bookish, but it's not a requirement.

2. I choose winners randomly and/or capriciously (do I like your avatar, do you sound like you really, really want to read these books, but honestly I usually just use a random number generator).

3. You must PM me your address if you are chosen.

4. U.S. only, sorry.

I will choose someone by Friday, and post more books next Saturday.
Tags: discussion

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