This realness serves Stephenson's themes well: he likes to play with the sharp sheer between the world as it is and how it appears in the cartoon looking glass of pop culture. Asked why the Russian criminals think he and Zula can find the author of , a no-nonsense Hungarian programmer replies, "Because we are hackers, and they have seen movies." The joke of watching a bunch of video-game addicts get caught up in actual shootouts never gets old: right in the middle of a finely turned Mexican standoff on a dock in Xiamen, the terrorist delivers a lecture on the eccentricities of the firing mechanism of the Makarov pistol that his opponent is holding against his head. In Stephenson's world, victory generally goes to the guy who's read the manual.
I discovered Neal Stephenson by chance when I walked into a bookstore and a beautiful book caught my eye. The book was a first edition copy of his novel . Since then I have been a fan of Stephenson because of what I call The Neal Stephenson Reading Experience.
Earlier this week wirelessly replaced the eBook version of "Reamde" because readers had complained about typos and errors in the original version.