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Cryptonomicon

August 20, 2009

Been inadvertently off anime for quite some time and this is not helping…

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Only one-third of the way and I know this one is a keeper 😀

It’s got Pearl Harbor described by a semi-autistic mathematician/Navy glockenspiel player, the principle of the three-wheel Enigma machine explained by comparison with a broken bicycle (belonging to no other than Alan Mathison Turing), an American Marine high on haikus and morphine… 918 pages of math, WWII, optical fiber submarine cables, small obscure islands (care to try saying « Qwghlm » ? Know where Kinakuta is ? Okay, they’re made up) and lots of crypto. Aaaand stuff blowing up too, I admit 😉

It’s very gripping, with short chapters, different timelines, non-boring tech talk and a lot of complex characters. I’m not a first-time reader of Stephenson’s works, but still, it’s hard to believe this book is ten years old. I hope it keeps up till the end !

You can also try Snow Crash and The Diamond Age to get a glimpse of our possible future (again, old books but advanced sci-fi), or Zodiac for a corrosive ecological thriller. I can’t vouch for the Baroque Cycle yet but it’s in my pile, somewhere…

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