1. i read “The Cycle” as it was published, having locked onto Stephenson since “Cryptonomicon”.

    This review is the clearest explanation, not only of what happens over those 60 years that so shaped today’s society, but also sees and admits Stephenson’s genius.

    In the author’s statement at the end of “The System of the World” Stephenson acknowledges the assistance of many people, but shields the identity of others because (in my words) “Frankly, anybody still reading this book after reading 2600 pages has got to be a little weird”.

    A better biographical statement of my mind’s eye has not been written.

    This is my first visit to your site. I was searching Walpurgisnacht and Jack’s experience on the mountain, when somehow I landed here.

    Glad I did, and I will waste some more time reading other parts of the site.

    Thank you.

    Matt McCoy
    Atlanta, GA

    1. Thank you Matt!

      While we seem to be no closer to the announcement of a formal sequel to Cryptonomicon / The Baroque Cycle, the good news are that Stephenson is reportedly working on something similar:

      Stephenson says he has returned to the past to tap a “similar vein” to that covered in his globe-spanning Baroque Cycle. “They’re historical novels that have a lot to do with scientific and technological themes and how those interact with the characters and civilisation during a particular span of history,” he says of the new series, refusing to be specific about the exact period.

  2. I can’t even remember how I connected with the Baroque Cycle, but I’m certainly glad I did. When it became available as an audiobook, I acquired it and tend to renew my acquaintance more frequently that way. [I listen to audiobooks while delivering newspapers at night.] I wish I knew enough more history to get all Stephenson’s inventions — I do get some of them. What I’m really looking for is a list of things he changed [like the members of the Cabal] and a serious evaluation by a historian of science of the period.

    1. Hat tip to you –I’m told that the complete audio version of the Baroque Cycle runs at around 125 hours.

      As for a complete concordance for the series, I haven’t found one yet, although there’s a wiki and a Tumblr site that both make for fascinating reading.

  3. Is there any news regarding a film/TV series? The material is so deep/rich/seductive as it transports readers to an excellent understanding of the human predicament. Ted Hope would be my nominee to tackle this world.

    1. I haven’t heard of any adaptation project.

      I’m not sure it would be adaptable in any meaningful sense, though. The trilogy is obviously too long and detailed to make a movie (or even three of them) –a TV show would be the most natural canvas. In theory, an HBO-style series of three ten-episode series would be enough to portray most of the action, but then you’d run into the essence of what makes The Baroque Cycle special: the prose, the very specific audience, the unrepentant exposition, the knowing ironies layered in-between what the characters experience and what readers know about the world hundred of year later. It’s not an impossible project (in a world where Cloud Atlas was decently adapted, anything is possible), but it’s not something that imposes itself as a commercially viable one.

      Not everything written needs to be adapted on-screen. Fight against post-literate civilization!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *