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Seveneves at the JCC

Next week should be epic at the JCC.

Yes, we have Sibel Kekilli and WHEN WE LEAVE on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday, well, Thursday is Thanksgiving. Turkey and football and (I hope) Melinda's epic apple pie. (Pumpkin pie has its fans, I know, but I'm an All American apple pie guy. With a slice of cheese on the side, please. 'Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze,' my mother used to say). That will be fun... but it won't be at the JCC.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we have another very special event. That afternoon, at 3:30, NEAL STEPHENSON will be dropping by for a visit, to talk about his new novel SEVENEVES.

I haven't had the chance to read SEVENEVES myself, though I am looking forward to it. There's been a lot of critical buzz about this one, and some great reviews; right now, it looks as if SEVENEVES will be a strong contender come Hugo time. Neal Stephenson is no stranger to that, of course. He's won (and lost) Hugos before, and his wins include 'the Big One,' the Hugo for best novel. We will also have a good selection of his backlist available for sale... and signing... at the JCC.

So if you're in New Mexico this Sunday, come by and meet him, enjoy a cocktail, and hear how it happened that the moon broke up.


Nov. 21st, 2015 03:02 am (UTC)
Seveneves was BAD. To a kind of astonishing degree. (The opening line is pretty great, but it's definitely all downhill from there.) Insipid dialogue, nonexistent characterization, endless and tedious infodumps in place of a plot . . . it was bad in basically every way a book can be bad.

If Seveneves gets on the Hugo ballot, I'll gleefully No Award it. Because I can genuinely say that absolutely nothing about this mess was award-worthy.
Nov. 21st, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
Yours is the first negative review I've seen of the book. I think you're in a minority.
Nov. 21st, 2015 05:23 am (UTC)
Mine is FAR from the only negative review out there. :) But when I picked this up, I too had seen only a slew of positive reviews. That's why I picked up the book in the first place. I'd never read any Stephenson (I'd heard of him, though), and I thought this would be a good start. And that's why I was so astonished at how badly written it turned out to be. Hard SF has a reputation for prioritizing "ideas" over character or plot, as we all know, but this . . . holy crap. This was egregious. (And too many of the "ideas" present here didn't actually hold up to further thought, so even there, the book didn't work.)

After throwing Seveneves down in disgust, I went back and re-read some of those positive reviews. (I wanted to know what they'd seen that I did not.) Some of them seemed to spend most of their word count just praising Stephenson's earlier works, with very little detail about Seveneves, leading me to wonder if they actually bothered reading Seveneves before "reviewing" it, or if they just assumed it would have to be good because his earlier works were. And some of them . . . frankly, some of them seemed to be desperately trying their absolute hardest to convince themselves a book they'd clearly hated was actually brilliant. (And the more I looked, the more explicit "What is this garbage???" reviews I found. It was nice to know I wasn't crazy. :) )

Your post said you haven't yet read Seveneves. I don't know you, of course, but based on what you've said in the past about what you enjoy . . . I'll be very surprised if you enjoy Seveneves. Maybe I'm wrong! But I don't think I am.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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