Neal Stephenson has really come out of his shell recently. While never quite as recluse as Salinger, this is the same Stephenson who published an essay on why he is a bad correspondent (this essay used to be online, but it is now in his Some Remarks collection). He has even tweeted thirteen times this year, almost matching his fifteen tweets since 2010.
Not that I’m counting his tweets (ok, some of those were retweets), but while he’s between books, it’s nice to hear from one of my favorite authors. The topic of his public conversation lately has been a Kickstarter project about CLANG, a realistic sword fighting game / API. A very detailed writer, “Umberto Eco without the charm” so says the NY Times about Snow Crash, Stephenson incorporated some swashbuckling scenes back in the Baroque Cycle, with which he was admittedly dissatisfied. However, since then he wrote the Mongoliad, a western martial arts online-novel and now CLANG, to make up for it.
But apart from the sword fighting, I’m continually impressed with Kickstarter. A grass-roots (apart from the sponsoring by Amazon) forum where crowd source funding spurs initial seed capital. Of course, like this article mentions, there is opportunity for the unanticipated problem of too much money.
CLANG was successfully funded at $526,125 (with a target of $500,000) and has a pretty creative video including their front man Neal Stephenson. But with the release of Some Remarks and the successful Kickstarter venture, Neal is ready to go back to work doing what he does best, writing. And from the sounds of this interview, we can look forward to more historical speculative fiction.
- Neal Stephenson on the State of Science Fiction (technologyreview.com)