Over my recent vacation, I read Neal Stephenson's latest book Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, which is a rough sequel to 2011's REAMDE. I thought I'd write up some brief thoughts I had on it and maybe some questions for a hypothetical future reader. Like all of Stephenson's work from the last couple of decades, this book is a meandering combination of science fiction, philosophy, political commentary, and mythical fantasy. The Kindle edition I read is 880 pages long, and went pretty quickly over four three-hour flights.
In general, I'd give it ★★★☆☆. It's got lots of interesting ideas, but it's shot through with too much ridiculous libertarian ideology, and it tries to tell too way too many stories in parallel. If you liked Cryptonomicon, you'll probably like this book, but I would be surprised if anyone likes it enough to plod through it twice.
WARNING: This post will contain significant spoliers for both Fall and REAMDE; don't keep reading untless you've either read both or are highly confident you aren't going to read either.read more