Genre Bender

Neal Stephenson’s new book, Reamde, is a slight departure from his usual, philosophy-heavy novels, but his penchant to rely heavily on science and technology is turned up a notch. Reamde is as much a Bourne-style techno-thriller as it is a geek-fest, detailing the story of an international identity-theft computer virus gone wrong through a Massively Multiplayer Game. Computer hackers are juxtaposed with gangsters, guns with keyboards, and we meet everyone from soldiers of fortune to Islamic terrorists.

Though Stephenson is best known as a science-fiction author, the genre classification mimics his interests more than his style. Reamde is near-future, with a core plot line that could take place today. “I feel that the tool kit of the science fiction author is well suited to addressing the modern day world as it is,” says Stephenson. “You don’t need to extrapolate the hypothetical future.” Which isn’t to say the book isn’t a finely tuned, slightly off-kilter universe, because it is, but it’s grounded firmly in the present.

Neal Stephenson will be reading and signing Reamde at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, tonight at 7:30 p.m.; admission is free. For more information, visit or call 303-436-1070.
Fri., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m., 2011


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