introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 23, 2004

Going for Baroque

by Ron Hogan

I'm still working my way through The System of the World, so I'll have to wait a few days before I can say anything about that to you, but in the meantime here's Neal Stephenson's Slashdot appearance, in which the science fiction novelist takes questions from one of his core audiences and gets to go on at much greater length than any newspaper or magazine would give him--which leads to some great ideas and some great stories.

[A]t the writer's conference, I introduced myself to someone who was responsible for organizing it, and she looked at me keenly and said, "Ah, yes, you're the one who's going to bring in our males 18-32." And sure enough, when we got to the venue, there were the males 18-32, looking quite out of place compared to the baseline lit-festival crowd. They stood at long lines at the microphones and asked me one question after another while ignoring the Dante writers sitting at the table with me. Some of the males 18-32 were so out of place that they seemed to have warped in from the Land of Faerie, and had the organizers wondering whether they should summon the police. But in the end they were more or less reasonable people who just wanted to talk about books and were as mystified by the literary people as the literary people were by them.
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