Putting together my thoughts, I was thinking about the length of books, lengths of fiction, and the various categories. I still insist that there is the “Neal Stephenson length,” which weighs in at 900+ pages in printed form. As a person raised on tawdry “pocket” paperbacks, the Neal Stephenson epic is just that. Not a condemnation, but about twice the length of the typical Russian novel. “Your mileage may vary,” as they say, see terms.
It was the “Baroque Cycle” series that I enjoyed the most. Or others, really, not a favorite other than the notice of the groundbreaking Snow Crash.
As soon as it was available, after 11 on Monday, I grabbed a digital copy, not willing to wait on the library. This is exacerbated by me wanting to have a hardback book, as well.
Termination Shock lands, at first, in Waco.
“For starters he learned that pigs, like white people, were an invasive species from Europe.” Page 19.
Always liked the expression, “trenchant wit.”
I forget, not having read the entire author’s canon, but I tend to forget that his late prose is just enjoyable to read. Cadence, structure, facts, vocabulary, adequately challenging, bit of a showoff, like “Look how smart I am,” using the correct word in that place, but it works. Works well, for me. Smart and stylish prose wrapping up a ripping good yarn. Always help, there’s that story in there.
“A system of umbilicals made it possible for the hot part of it to trail in the Brazos along the flank of the pontoon boat, so long as the users didn’t expect to do a lot of moving around.” Page 64.
Remembrance of a scene in Snow Crash, a wise guy with suitcase flechette “gun” that trailed a cooling part in the water beside the boat.
In the author’s online bio, there’s a bit him about working for Bezo’s space thing, and that must’ve been introduction to Texas.
In tour of a future Houston?
“People can’t think statistically. People are hardwired to think in terms of narratives.” Page 167. (Previous referral).
While a piece of fiction, it does explain much in terms of recent herd behavior. Just look at the headlines.
Is there a standard trope, for any given genre, where the millionaire in Texas, usually Texas born oilmen, where they are always eccentric characters?
While the author is plainly American, he catches the abrupt, rude to a southerner like myself, rather straightforward nature of some European cultures.
“In my reading of military history, I’m always coming across references to the night before battle. It’s a trope. I’ve never once read about people having lunch before battle. No one wants to launch anything in the afternoon. It’s a foregone conclusion you’ll run out of daylight. Just an observation.” Page 581.
Except, don’t know if it plays, but with early action in the Greater Houston (Texas) setting? Battle of San Jacinto. Parenthetical? California should thanks us. But the book?
According to Jack reacher, separate novelist, the best time to launch an attack is 4 AM. More military data, no verified.
“5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” (Job)
Excerpt From The King James Version of the Bible
An underlying theme, looping forward and backward throughout the tale, a,cautionary note about the current politics in Texas, and on broader note, further afield.
Excellent book. Took me a month to wind my way through It, but I like the smart style. There was a true love of Texas and Texans, as well. Captured the mystique, and offered a warning about where our politics might be headed.
- Aperture: ƒ/1.8
- Camera: iPad Pro (11-inch)
- Flash fired: no
- Focal length: 3mm
- ISO: 320
- Shutter speed: 1/30s