HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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epsonJune 14, 2021

Snow Crash is his best book. Imaginative and punchy as fuck.

Cryptonomicon is very good too. Should be a must read for people who want to make another Tor :)

Incomparison, Reamde is slow and boring.

davidwonMar 24, 2021

Is that still true? Honest question.

Cryptonomicon did such a wonderful job of capturing a certain something from the 1990ies. I haven't enjoyed his more recent books as much. Seveneves was depressing. Dodge had really bad reviews and I haven't bothered with it.

shpongledonJune 14, 2021

I'd recommend some of Stephenson's earlier works: Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, Reamde, Anathem are all great. I actually think Seveneves is one of his weakest books.

nuclidonJune 13, 2021

This! Cryptonomicon turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. I had to wait a bit though. In my early 20s I wasn't ready. Now 20 years later I enjoyed every page.

CompuHackeronJune 3, 2021

This concept was described in Cryptonomicon (1999). I have seen no proof of concept for such an application as of yet, but it would indeed be simple.

noduermeonJune 14, 2021

The Diamond Age as the follow-up to Snow Crash is also a great piece of sci-fi.

Cryptonomicon is fun, I re-read that recently. I wouldn't really call it sci-fi, though. More like historical fiction..

bogdanovanonJune 14, 2021

During this past year, I’ve been inhaling books like nobody’s business and, in particular, re-discovering my love of science fiction.

Anathem was by far my favorite discovery of the whole year in any genre, highly highly recommended. (I much preferred it to Cryptonomicon actually.) I found it beautiful and deep and entertaining on every level.

ryanSrichonJune 14, 2021

Agreed. I wasn’t a big fan of seveneves.

Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash are must reads. Anathem is a beast that I just couldn’t get into, though I tried several times.

alasdair_onAug 2, 2021

There is a section in the novel Cryptonomicon where the protagonist is in a jail cell and monitored 24/7. He communicates with another person via a deck of cards, with all of the cryptography performed in the two people's minds. It's annoying to do but should certainly be possible if the fate of the world is at stake.

arethuzaonJuly 13, 2021

I can strongly recommend the Baroque Cycle which is a set of prequels for Cryptonomicon set in the 17th and early 18th centuries and Fall; or, Dodge in Hell which, while not a direct sequel, shares at least on character and the Waterhouse family foundation.

NB The audiobook versions of all of these are really good.

Edit: Jack Shaftoe is probably one of my favourite fictional characters...

jillesvangurponJune 14, 2021

I'm currently re-reading Seveneves again. Great book. I even like the third part which many people have criticized. However, that might have actually planted the seed for this new book.

This book looks like it might be a bit in the same spirit in the sense that our home planet is abused a bit. Part three of Seveneves is about the aftermath of essentially terra forming Earth in the distant future after it gets destroyed in part 1.

People think about other planets when it comes to terra forming but of course our home planet might be the easiest one to practice on and doing so might get a bit urgent as we seem to be destroying it. Great premise for a near future science fiction novel.

If you are looking for recommendations. Ian Banks can be a bit hard to read but can be very entertaining. Arthur C Clarke wrote some awesome science fiction. More recently, The Martian (Andy Weir) was great. And Andy Weir just published another book that's on my list to read soon. The expanse series of books (James S. A. Corey) is a good read. 2312 (Stanley Robinson) is also worth a look.

And of course if you at all enjoyed Seveneves, you might want to read the rest of what NS wrote. Anathem is great. Snow Crash, the Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon are classics at this point.

throw1234651234onJuly 23, 2021

I know what you are talking about, despite being on the opposite end of that spectrum. Snow Crash / Diamond Age are cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk ala Gibson and completely different from Stephenson's other books.

I couldn't even get through Cryptonomicon, and Jack Shaftoe did not strike me as a believable genius, nor his story. Anathem kind of strafed the line - it had SOME character development, and SOME action, but was mainly world-building / intellectual exploration. Stephenson's other books fall too far on that spectrum for me.

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