Skip to main content

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Of all the Stephenson books I have read The Diamond Age is easily the best written with a lyrical quality to the prose that is not present in his other works. If the name on the cover did not say Stephenson I would not have believed that he wrote it.
Stephenson sets this book in The Diamond Age. An age in which nano tech is a reality and there really is no scarcity. This entails all the standard nano technology that can build things, food out of atoms. He really does develop this concept well though. When Stephenson talks about technology you feel that it already exists.
The thing that this book is really about is culture and how an environment shapes people specifically children and it does this through an ingenious plot device called the Young Lady's illustrated primer a learning device for young girls.
Hackworth is an engineer who has been commissioned to develop a young lady's illustrated primer. Of course he manages to lose a copy and this lands up in the hands of Nell, a young girl and the primer becomes her guide and tutor teaching her all sorts of things using stories. (Its amazing the depth of information that Stephenson manages to convey here). The fairy tales as a teaching device is magical.
In an almost parallel storyline Hackworth manages to get in all sorts of trouble for losing the primer and his tale is actually even better.
The book does get a bit slow towards the end but its a worthy and eye opening read. I found this book visionary 17 years after its release. Its hard to think of what it must have seemed like when it was actually published.

You can buy The Diamond Age here.


Popular posts from this blog

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

On Hans Zimmer

I have been listening to quite a lot of soundtracks lately. Two composers in particular stand out, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell. I have written about Clint Mansell over here . Hans Zimmer has somehow managed to score a lot of my favorite movies including Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight , the Gladiator, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean just to name a few. In fact chances are that if there is a movie's score you like in the last decade its by Zimmer.(Apart from Lord of the rings of course :)) The thing about Zimmer though is that he is able to deliver even in movies that are not particularly good. Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons come to mind immediately which feature some great violin solos courtesy Joshua Bell. Here are a few of my favorite tracks. Put your headphones on and listen. Discombulate from Sherlock Red Warrior from The Last Samurai Time from Inception Jack Sparrow's Theme Science and Religion from Angels and Demons

Announcing the first part of the Karna trilogy

Finally after a lot of procrastination and some hard work the novel is done or at least the first part of it. Its about Karna in the Mahabharata. It also revolves around Kunti. From my reading experience Karna is highly readable and is short as well. (Novella length). You can read the whole book online here or if you want to get the pdf/epub for your reading devices you can get them from Leanpub Let me know what you think of Karna Part One. Two more parts are on their way.