Author Topic: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson  (Read 4585 times)

dusty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Sydney / NFA
Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« on: March 15, 2015, 01:06:28 AM »
So I just finished all three books of the Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - so where to now?

I noticed another forum member had been reading Quicksilver (the first of three) back in 2013 so I hope more people have read the series and can recommend something similar for me to read next.....

The Baroque Cycle is set during the late 1600s and I can't even begin to explain the story line.  It covers Natural Philosophy, Social / Political conflicts of Europe and England, made up alchemy, economics - the use of credit, the establishment of stock exchanges, and Newton's 30 years working in the Royal Mint and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, this series is so engaging and involved that I don't know what to turn to next.  I read a lot of Historic Fiction but am open to suggestions of any genre....

I have started on The Stoics Bible, but like to have fiction on the go at the same time as fun reading.

thanks


Pasquatch

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 07:40:18 PM »
Neal Stephenson is easily one of my favorite fiction writers.  Those were AWESOME books.  I'd go with Cryptonomicon by Stephenson if you haven't read it.  It follows the descendants of the Waterhouses from the Baroque Cycle.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 07:21:33 PM »
I adore this series. Hands down one of the best reads ever. I don't think anything really compares - not even Stephenson's other books. If you haven't read Diamond Age, it's amazing. Reamde was ok, but not nearly as nuanced and well spun as Baroque Cycle, even accounting for the massive difference in length. The Dune series is more traditional Sci Fi, but the world building really holds up if you haven't read it. I really like Mists of Avalon as a historical fiction/fantasy crossover but it's fairly distinct as a book and not to everyone's taste. The Egyptian by Waltari Mika is another good historical fiction I really enjoyed....in fact, I'm going to go request that one at the library. It's been years since I've read it and it's due for a re-read.

Davin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Eureka, California
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2015, 08:00:03 PM »
So I just finished all three books of the Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - so where to now?

...

Anyway, this series is so engaging and involved that I don't know what to turn to next.  I read a lot of Historic Fiction but am open to suggestions of any genre....

...


I loved reading those books. I also found Kim Stanley Robinsons Mars Trilogy similarly engaging, it is sci-fi if that makes a difference.

Kriegsspiel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1002
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 08:12:47 PM »
Anathem and Diamond Age, for sure.

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 06:22:06 AM »
I also loved those books. Cryptonomicon is definitely on my list. Sounds like there are some other great ideas here too!

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 06:34:38 AM »
Yaas!

I would say everything of his before the Baroque cycle and none of the stuff after (so everything except Anathem, Reamde, and Seveneves). But it depends what you like about the books, of course.

(And Kriegsspiel, let me know what you think of Seveneves when you read it. You'll probably like it. I don't know why I let the writing style get to me so much.)

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3329
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 11:05:27 PM »
Vernor Vinge's "Zones of Thought"?

Duchess of Stratosphear

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 08:50:52 AM »
I just finished The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. It's just been translated from the Chinese and is (I think) the first of a trilogy. It's partly set during the Cultural Revolution, which I found very interesting.

I enjoyed The Diamond Age, but I found Stephenson's style difficult to read. I'm not sure why--it's been a long time since I read it, so that's just the impression I remember. I'm interested to check out the Baroque Cycle in spite of that because his ideas are so interesting. I also liked Snowcrash okay.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7871
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 04:43:11 PM »
Cryptonomicon is definitely on my list.

I normally read non-fiction, but I made an exception for this book on someone's recommendation.  It made me feel dirty inside.

I just about lost it when Alan Turing's gay Nazi secret lover steals the top secret Messerschmidt prototype and crash lands into the main character's plotline.  I kept waiting for the T-rex to jump out and eat a lawyer.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 07:04:14 PM »
I just finished The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. It's just been translated from the Chinese and is (I think) the first of a trilogy. It's partly set during the Cultural Revolution, which I found very interesting.

I enjoyed The Diamond Age, but I found Stephenson's style difficult to read. I'm not sure why--it's been a long time since I read it, so that's just the impression I remember. I'm interested to check out the Baroque Cycle in spite of that because his ideas are so interesting. I also liked Snowcrash okay.
I've read most of Neal Stephenson's books, and Baroque Cycle is a triumph if you don't mind long, long, long form. It's also really different as a genre from most of his earlier works. I'd say basically historical fiction with just a dash of the magical instead of the scifi/specfic/cyberpunk mash of Diamond Age, Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon. I loved all those books, but they are definitely odd. Reamde was just...fluffy. I finished it, but that's about all I can say.

dusty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Sydney / NFA
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2015, 12:48:15 AM »
Hey guys, sorry I have been at sea with work for what feels like for ever. 

Thank you for all the helpful suggestions I have made a list and am looking into each suggestion - love have a big list of fiction to work through, haven't read this solidly for a while.

I adore this series. Hands down one of the best reads ever. I don't think anything really compares - not even Stephenson's other books. If you haven't read Diamond Age, it's amazing. Reamde was ok, but not nearly as nuanced and well spun as Baroque Cycle, even accounting for the massive difference in length. The Dune series is more traditional Sci Fi, but the world building really holds up if you haven't read it. I really like Mists of Avalon as a historical fiction/fantasy crossover but it's fairly distinct as a book and not to everyone's taste. The Egyptian by Waltari Mika is another good historical fiction I really enjoyed....in fact, I'm going to go request that one at the library. It's been years since I've read it and it's due for a re-read.

Thought I would pick NWedible's reply to quote - as I have read Baroque cycle (as mentioned, just re-read), Cryptonomicon (actually re-read before Baroque which prompted the newest re-reading) Reamde (not as good as anything else Neal does), and Anathema.

Anyway, during this trip a workmate lent me his Ereader which had diamond age and Snow Crash on it.  Snow Crash was devoured in 2 days and I am still slowly reading through Diamond age - I like Sci-Fi and Fantasy but I really enjoy Neal's take on the Genre.  He tends to include enough familiarity in the 'far-out' technology that you can easily believe his futures are real. 

I googled The Egyptian and saw it was written in 1945 and a movie was made in 1960, so I think I will give that a go.  In exchange I can recommend Bernard Cornwell's 'Arthurian Trilogy' which is another piece of fantastical Historic-fiction.

Once again thanks guys!   

aperture

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 07:49:45 PM »
Got the little pink warning that this is an old old old thread - too f@@@ing bad - I love love love the Baroque Cycle.  I also really enjoyed this one from a completely different writer and era: "A Soldier of the Great War" by Mark Helprin http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Great-War-Mark-Helprin/dp/0156031132/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I highly recommend. -ap