Rise and Fall of Dodo

Rise and Fall of Dodo

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. – Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland

“But there was never any doubt as to the gist: some manner of cause-and-effect relationship existed between the rise of scientific knowledge and the decline of magic.” Page 42.

According to one interview or authorial note, Neal Stephenson would write his novels all the way through, and after Snowcrash, all of his work tended towards the epic tome, the 900-page door-stop hardback.

Buying a copy, at the bookstore, hefting the brick-like book, clerk asked if it was Science Fiction, and no, his last novel Seveneves was squarely science fiction, but The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O probably isn’t, and that is merely from a cursory reading of a few pages.

I think this is the second or third novel of his that I’ve bought, both as a book and then, again, as a digital copy. In the last two decades, his publisher uses that good, book-making material so the hardbacks are durable, and stand up to re-reading. More important, the material tends to be engaging. The digital copy is just easier to lay awake at night, in bed, and read. I imagine that it’s like reading under the covers with a flashlight.

While it is easy to see, or easy to read, in the first hundred pages or less, the Neal Stephenson characteristic pacing, plot, story, all the elements that are his defining parts are quite present. Deft, dense weaving. The subject matter shows the work of the co-author, as it veers from straight tech and extrapolated technology into — presto/change-o — magic!

While there has always been an element of the fantastic in Stephenson’s canon, this one has a lighter note, and in some respects echoes back to the same yarn spinning in SnowCrash.

Rise and Fall of Dodo

Dr. Strangelove, the movie, dated almost before the author himself, and yet, there’s an echo of that, too.

“We’ve seen it before in creative arts settings, especially storytelling. If you think about what is going on in a storyteller’s mind when he or she spins a fictional yarn, what they are trying to do is to come up with a story that did not actually happen, but that seems as if it might have happened. In other words, it has to make sense and to be plausible. Typically such a story makes use of real places, historical events, characters, etc. but the events of the story itself seem to take place in an alternate version of reality.” Page 684.

Authors, do sneak themselves in, non?

Rise and Fall of Dodo

Sprawling, epic novel. Time travel, magic, mayhem. Great stuff, if one likes that sort of thing. I do. Brilliant, and a sidestep from his previous work.

Rise and Fall of Dodo

Cover shot.

Rise and Fall of Dodo

As an addendum to a previous thought, I think the digital copy of this book has been “updated,” two, three times since it first came out?


Rise and Fall of Dodo

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. – Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel

Kramer Wetzel

%d bloggers like this: