Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

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In my (humble) opinion, when it comes to intellectually stimulating and hardcore cyberpunk science fiction, there is no better author than Neal Stephenson, who does a great job in each and every one of his novels to date. For anyone who likes vast concepts steeped in technical, scientific, philosophical, and mathematical landscapes, portrayed in even more vast settings within (science) fiction, Neal Stephenson presents just that, taking your brain on an intellectual roller coaster ride each time you read one of his books. The very first book I read was Cryptonomicon, (a copy which belonged to my uncle) and it blew my mind. I also went on to read two more of his novels, Anathem, and Reamde, which showcased the ability of the author to create unimaginably different worlds and settings from book to book. For instance, Anathem is speculative fiction featured in a monastic setting (with a theme revolving around the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics) which has deep philosophical implications, whereas Reamde is a fast paced techno thriller revolving around a MMORPG with crypto-currencies, social networking, and hacker culture thrown into the mix.

Coming back to why I wrote this post, Seveneves is a novel by Neal Stephenson published in 2015, which was also recommended by Bill Gates who says it is the first science fiction book he has read in a decade. It is a work of speculative fiction, and starts off with a major catastrophe brought on by the destruction of the moon, that triggers a series of apocalyptic events. The story spans from the time this event takes place, to thousands of years in the future, which in itself, requires the reader to digest a vast time range of activities pertaining to the human will for survival. Personally for me, it is a book with an interesting premise that evokes a lot of thought and insight.

My advice on reading books by Neal Stephenson: pick a book that has a theme interesting to you, and see if you like his style and presentation (You might learn a lot about Mathematics, Cryptography, The Enigma machine, Van Eck phreaking, UNIX, and the history of world war two just by reading one book, which is what happened when I finished reading Cryptonomicon).

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