Inside a genius writer’s mind – In depth with Seattle’s own Neal Stephenson

Sep 21, 2011, 12:44 PM

From Dan Restione/Seattle’s Morning News Producer

Neal Stephenson, author of the new novel “REAMDE”, seems like anything but what he really is.

His newest book is about computer hacking…and a whole lot more.

Seattle Times reviewer Nisi Shawl writes:

“Can a 1,000-plus-page thriller be called fast-paced? If it’s Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde,” the answer’s yes. This latest novel by the Seattle author sometimes called the “geek Homer” revolves around a whirlpool of criminality: A hacker gone bad promises stolen credit-card numbers to a renegade member of the Russian mafia; professional players of an online game launch a virus-powered blackmail scheme; a fanatical terrorist’s bomb lab explodes, taking down an apartment building and mobilizing multiple international intelligence organizations. These situations feed into one another, entangling a cast of believably eccentric characters.”

reamde

To see him is to NOT know him at all. Shaved head, somewhat old-timey-time but well groomed beard, button down shirt with a few classy pens peeking out of the breast pocket, jeans, backpack.

To hear him talk… you’re no closer to the truth. Soft spoken with no crescendos of volume or variation of tone and very minimal gesturing. Short to medium pauses between the Q and the A.

But if you listen to what he’s saying- you get a glimpse.

This ordinary looking, quiet talking guy is… a genius and in my opinion, now that Robertson Davies is dead, the most amazing living writer in the world.

nealstephenson

Stephenson’s in a world where it seems so much “creative” product amounts to re-treading, re-telling, re-imagining, or re-booting old ideas… Neal throws out new ideas, combinations, and ways to look at life like a cow urinating on a flat rock. He’s a human pointer dog when it comes to really seeing things we pass by everyday. I swear he froze on five different things in just the walk through our newsroom to the studio.

He’s a Seattle writer that I’ve followed throughout his career and the chance to meet and talk to him about his new novel “Reamde” was a huge thrill.

If you know him- you MUST listen to this interview.

Listen to Extended Interview – Neal Stephenson/Seattle author

He talks about how in his early years, his Muse was less an angel than a demon with a whip, what it’s like to write sex scenes, why writing is a craft and not an art, and what he would be if he never wrote a word. It’s all great stuff.

If you don’t know him- listen to the interview but get out there and get one of his books. I’d say just pick up a copy of “Snow Crash” and read the first three pages. You will be hooked and onto a great thing.

And then, then you’ll know Neal Stephenson.

And you’ll know he is a genius.

Ross and Burbank

...
No Author

Luke got married!

Congratulations to Luke and his beautiful bride, Carey!
10 years ago
Jamie Skorheim

Mayor Mike McGinn shares a handy trick

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn really impressed KIRO Radio host Luke Burbank with a technique he uses to keep his suit jacket looking sharp even when he's got to pack it away for his bike ride to work.
10 years ago
KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank is magnanimously offering to take the $50,000 that was raised for S...
Josh Kerns

Luke offers semi-legal Seattle fireworks show

While the organizers of Seattle's Family Fourth say they're cancelling the fireworks show this year because of a funding shortfall, KIRO Radio's Luke Burbank is magnanimously offering to take the $50,000 that was raised put on a pretty impressive show of his own.
10 years ago
Find Dave and Luke on their new blog pages. (KIRO Radio/file)...
No Author

Dave and Luke now have their own blogs

Dave Ross and Luke Burbank now each have their own shows. Find updates from Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News and from The Luke Burbank Shows on their new blogs.
10 years ago
With Canada phasing out the penny, KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank argues it’s time the U.S. ...
Josh Kerns

Canada kills the penny; should we follow?

Canada is saying "so long" to the penny, ending distribution of the one cent coin after Feb 4. And KIRO Radio's Luke Burbank says it's time for the U.S. to follow.
10 years ago
Oprah trivia is the subject of this week’s knowledge-off quiz. (AP Photo/OWN, George Burns)...
MyNorthwest.com

Weekly Burbank Knowledge-off Quiz: Oprah Trivia

Oprah is the topic of this first ever only Burbank Knowledge-off Quiz.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Inside a genius writer’s mind – In depth with Seattle’s own Neal Stephenson