After finishing a great book, sometimes it's hard to know where to turn
next. Let us help. Each of our "further recommendations" pages provides
knowledgeable suggestions, hand-picked by our staff, to satisfy your hunger
for more great reading.
YOUR NEXT BOOK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING...
Code Book: the Evolution of Secrecy From Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography
Cryptonomicon and Singh's The Code Book were made
for each other. Stephenson slogged through a great deal of historical
and technical research about coding and encryption in order to write
his novel; Singh actually wrote a history of coding. Where Cryptonomicon
is a novel so packed with technical detail it at times reads like a
textbook (though an extraordinarily entertaining textbook, of course),
The Code Book is a work of nonfiction that often reads like a novel.
It is also true that the most interesting parts of each book have to
do with that most dramatic era in the history of coding, WWII.
Neal Stephenson's writing has been described as "postcyberpunk"
science fiction. In other words, he would be nowhere without the king
of cyberpunk himself, Mr. William Gibson, whose trail breaking eighties
novels threw open the doors to a new type of wildly imaginative, techno-savvy,
Bogart-takes-acid-and-jumps-into-the-future fiction. All Stephenson
had to do was walk on through. Well, maybe there was more to it than
that, but it's safe to say that Stephenson and Gibson were made from
the same piece of intricately designed, petroleum-based cloth.
Crash by Neal
It may seem a bit obvious to direct fans of Cryptonomicon to Stephenson's
other books, but if you've found yourself wanting more after reading Stephenson's
most recent book, you should head directly for his breakthrough novel and just keep
on reading. Snow Crash can only be described as pivotal in the world
of science fiction. When it was first published in 1992 no one had read anything
like it. The name Neal Stephenson quickly became a household word for nerds
everywhere. In fact, Stephenson's work can be described as celebrating
glorifying even the virtues of the "geek." His complicated
plots require a math-friendly mind to follow, and the technological information
is intricate and abundant. All this and a make-that-cappucino-a-double-because-I-was-up-all-night-reading
story to boot.
Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas
If Neal Stephenson is the novelist of choice for geeks, then
anything by Douglas R. Hofstadter, one of our greatest theorists about
computers, complexity, and creativity, is an appropriate tie-in. And
no better place to start than his best-selling masterpiece, Gödel,
Escher, Bach. Told in a series of imagined conversations and allegories,
Prize-winning work discusses the behavior of systems with self-referential
(recursive) elements. Much more interesting than it sounds, this book
is a good philosophical introduction to what later became known as chaos/complexity
science. Recommended by Doug