by Henry Farrell on September 24, 2003

Eugene Volokh “sez”:http://volokh.com/2003_09_21_volokh_archive.html#106437620610467368

bq. Work? Blogging? Sleep? Or _Quicksilver_? I say _Quicksilver_.

_Quicksilver_ junkies will want to know about the Quicksilver “Wiki”:http://www.metaweb.com/wiki/wiki.phtml that Neal Stephenson has set up, which will allow people collectively to annotate the book, its characters, ideas, and whatever odd tangents they find interesting. Via “BoingBoing”:http://boingboing.net/2003_09_01_archive.html#106438136711313636.



Norbizness 09.24.03 at 1:56 pm

And I say “Quicksilver”, meaning the bike messenger movie starring Kevin Bacon.


Chun the Unavoidable 09.24.03 at 8:44 pm

I’d like to turn this comment-thread into a referendum on Stephenson’s literary value. My initial impression: vastly overrated.


Murph 09.24.03 at 11:03 pm


A (female) friend of mine describes Stephenson’s _Cryptonomicon_ as “masturbatory nerdboy fiction. figuratively and literally.” Which perhaps supports your claim that Stephenson’s work has little literary value. However, it also supports a different claim: that his writing has plenty of entertainment value. And that’s all that it requires. Nobody’s trying to claim that Stephenson is the next Shakespeare or Dostoevsky. Read him and enjoy him, or go watch tv and let the rest of us read in peace.


Chun the Unavoidable 09.24.03 at 11:10 pm


You’ll note that I didn’t write that Stephenson has little literary value. Instead, I claimed that his literary value is highly overrated.

I don’t believe in a distinction between literary and entertainment value. Would you care to elaborate on what you think it is?


Shai 09.25.03 at 1:07 am

Everything is overrated if you have an unusually high set of expectations. Stephenson is writing for a particular audience, is he not?


Chun the Unavoidable 09.25.03 at 1:48 am

No, Shai, as Dr. Johnson would remind you, he’s writing for money.


dsquared 09.25.03 at 11:34 am

Count me as a vote for “absolutely appalling”. This is one of those things where I just have a completely different view from the rest of the world; not even entertainment value. He’s terrible. Just terrible. It’s like being cornered by a pub bore whose cousin was in the SAS and whose brother works for Slashdot.

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