REAMDE

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Dont forget the nuclear bomb strapped to a motocycle. That guy is a badass.
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I picked this book up and ended up reading the whole thing in 3 sittings. Granted those sittings were...hours and hours long. It is fast paced, nerdy as hell. I loved it. First book by the Author I've read and I am certainly considering more after Reamde
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Cryptonomicron was also a fantastic book. It was just extraordinarily dense.
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If you haven't discovered Neal Stephenson yet, you really should give him a shot. REAMDE isn't a bad place to start, but I also really enjoyed Anathem.
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Snow Crash is an unbelievably good read.
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books and movies that play in virtual worlds tend to be uber suxx0r (with the notable exception of caprica). won't read this one.Instead of wasting your time with this book you should (re)read A Deepness in the Sky by vinge.
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Good read here. Gets a bit preposterous from time to time, but it's definitely fun. Also recommend Snow Crash
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Highly advisable if you like adventure and a tight plot. I enjoyed it a lot, ANATHEM is the wondeful Book to advise to SCi FI Fans, math and parallel history and the long Clock :) thx for the review its Cool
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definitely a miss on ur part buddy, this isnt your usual "virtual world book" its a Damn smart and fast paced thriller that involves virtual gold, survival and spans the globe, bit long sometimes but defintely not a waste of time
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This review coming from someone who uses the word 'suxx0r' instead of creatively articulating his opinion concerning novels and movies which take place in virtual worlds. I get it - some people don't like certain plot styles, but you'd think if he wants to be taken remotely seriously he'd at least ATTEMPT at looking intelligent instead of some 13 year old kid talking about a book?BTW: Tad Williams - Otherland is a fantastic VR world series of novels and soon to be a free to play MMO setting: http://otherland.gamigo.com/
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Very little of this novel actually takes place in the virtual world. The segments that do are well-executed and make sense in context. If you avoid this book because of that single criterion, you are cheating yourself.
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I seem to be the only nerd who doesn't love this book, or Stephenson's other work. He's a very imaginative author, but it reads like a comic book, it's story is incoherent, and the characters are caricatures.
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REAMDE was a really fun book indeed. That said, no love for Diamond Age/Young Lady's Illustrated Primer in these comments? Nanotech, implants, grey goo, espionage, class wars ... it was my introduction to Neal Stephenson and remains tied with Snow Crash as my favorite (mind you I haven't read Anathem yet).
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Can't forget Cryptonomicon, which is probably my favorite. Snow Crash feels a little weird nowadays with the breathless explanations of what seems like antiquated tech right now (cell phones, internet, etc). It's still great.
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Actually, the in-game environment is only portrayed a few times throughout the entire book. The MMO/RMT/virus element (about 1% of the story) is really just a catalyst for the series of crazy out-of-game events spanning the globe that unfold as a result (the remaining 99% of the story).
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Yep. I may have put undue stress on it here, but it's for a good cause: getting EVE nerds to read more books.
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By your definition the best way to read Anathem is not to read it?
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hey why do you delete comments buddy?
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I agree that Diamond Age is critically underrated. But seriously, you need to read Anathem. It's also crazy good.

Ahh, Neal Stephenson. Nerdy author par excellence, writer of books filled to the brim with excessive detail. Flipping through his work, you’ll often find the narrative buttressed with maps, dramatis personae, and maybe even a graph or two. Not this book. REAMDE, though it takes its digressions, has rather more in common with a tightly-plotted thriller than Stephenson’s earlier work. It’s a beefy, nerdy action story that happens to revolve around an MMO.

Stephenson books are divisive. Critics call them nerd fodder, snobbier nerds call them pandering. Spoiler alert: REAMDE is both of those things and it’s great.  It brings the goods - strong plotting, well-written action sequences, and nerdy systems to geek out over - without the common Tom Clancy-esque glaze of uncomfortable politics and cookie-cutter characters. Yes, this story is detail laden, but they are enjoyable details.

REAMDE often avoids Stephenson’s usual foibles. This may not have the depth of an Anathem or a Baroque Cycle, but you won’t have to learn a sci-fi vocabulary or distinguish between the members of the Hanoverian dynasty. It’s purely a fun ride.

Well, once it hits its stride, anyways. Like most of Stephenson’s work, the beginning can feel turgid and interminable. Take my advice and set aside a couple of hours for your first sitting. Once Stephenson does get rolling, he’s always been fun to read, even if you don’t understand what he’s writing or find it implausible. Suspend your disbelief a bit - I found him to be an excellent guide through the worlds of the Russian mafia, flight planning, extreme libertarianism and, incidentally, MMO design.

One of the primary characters of REAMDE is Richard Forthrast, the founder/chairman of a gaming company. His flagship product is T’Rain, an MMO that maintains World of Warcraft’s fantasy themes while advancing the genre in some surprising ways.

Of course, ‘advancing’ is a debatable term. Other than the super-detailed terrain technology that gives T’Rain its name, the principle difference of Forthrast’s model is a kind of controlled, legalized RMT. It’s a feudal virtual economy, with liege lords ruling over vassals, and in-game currency easily convertible to real cash. T’Rain becomes the first single-sharded MMO to bridge the gap between Asian and Western audiences.

“[The game was] as accessible to the all-important Chinese teenager market as it was to the podgy middle-aged Westerners who were dependent upon those Chinese teenagers for virtual gold. But on the other hand, those kids in China were actually making money; playing the game, to them, was a source of income rather than an expense, and most of them were perfectly happy with the arrangement.”

“REAMDE” itself is a virus that emerges within this 'free RMT/pay-to-win' universe. It’s ingenious. I won’t spoil it. Suffice it to say that, as we EVE players know, our real and virtual worlds can interact in some messy ways.

Forthrast is probably the most interesting character, but REAMDE is full of them. Spies, mercenaries, hackers, gun nuts, terrifyingly maladjusted fantasy novelists. This can be a difficult book at first, but if you invest the effort, it will pay off (sound familiar, EVE players?). 

The audiobook isn’t bad, incidentally. If you’re like me and you need extra stimulation while you’re camping a gate or ratting or some other mind-numbing EVE task, I very much recommend it.

AKA Alikchi. Traitor, hater, ganker, idiot. Follow me at @alikchialeika.