The Stephenson Conclusion

Any sufficiently developed idea related to information theory that a writer may have for a story will lead to the Stephenson Conclusion, that is, “Neal Stephenson already wrote it.”

I’m reading The Information by James Gleick.  It does not list Stephenson in the index, despite being so far a lengthy, step-by-step rehash of his books.  So I guess that works for nonfiction as well.


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  1. When you said “Stephenson Conclusion,” at first I thought you were going to post about his inability to bring a book to any kind of satisfactory conclusion. Strong openings, insanely-detailed and occasionally-gripping middles, and completely-bungled ends.*

    *Cryptonomicon is, of course, exempt from the “occasionally-gripping” part of the middles. I skipped a hundred pages in that one and didn’t miss a thing. Not a goddamn thing.

  2. De

    I would tend to agree about the endings…but eh, I like them and refer to them enough otherwise that I don’t care.

    I liked the middle of Cryptonomicon, actually…

  3. Oh man! I write near-future science fiction. I am hosed. Completely, totally hosed. Darn that Stephenson Conclusion!

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