Audiobook received: Reamde by Neal Stephenson read by Malcolm Hillgartner from Brilliance Audio. Upon starting the audiobook (it being on sale for $13.64 made it worth buying rather than ripping in the 32 discs of the review copy, and I’d actually started even earlier thanks to Reamde: Free First Chapter) I discover that the title is pronounced “reamed”. I enjoy wordplay, and so the title having 3 one-letter transposition re-spellings (reamed, readme, remade) tickles my brain in the right places. Now several chapters in, and there’s some familiar territory for Stephenson readers (virtual worlds, computer security) which keeps my “… but I really don’t like thrillers very much” doubts at bay, as do glowing reviews from Lev Grossman in TIME and Elizabeth Hand in The Washington Post. And a long history of my loving Stephenson’s novels — yes, even The Big U. I’ve loved them both as a reader (Snow Crash, Anathem, The Baroque Cycle, Cryptonomicon) and as a listener (Snow Crash, The Diamond Age) and I’m more than willing to follow him onto a 1000 page / 32 disc / 38 hour adventure into more William Gibson-esque (or in this case, so far I might say Michael Crichton-esque?) territory of the numenous “now” of tomorrow’s speculative fiction. Onward! For there are many hours to go.

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