Author: Neal Stephenson
Year: 2004
Genre: Historical fiction

Stephenson claims to be a science fiction writer, but I have to disagree. Like Cryptonomicon, Quicksilver is not science fiction so much as historical fiction about scientists. Maybe he calls it science fiction because his audience is the same; SF or no, Quicksilver can unquestionably be shelved under "zany fun for geeks."

What a tangle of subplots: there's the Puritan in Restoration England, the early history of the Royal Society, 17th-century financial intrigue a la A Conspiracy of Paper, Louis XIV court intrigue that's not too far removed from Mel Brooks, and two pirate stories. Half the fun is keeping all that in your head.

I'll see if I can still remember it when I get around to reading Book Two.

No comments: