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Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing Audiobook, by Neal Stephenson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Neal Stephenson Narrator: Jeff Cummings Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9780062190536
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (435 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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“Neal Stephenson has made a name for himself as a writer whose imagination knows no limits.”


#1 New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson is, quite simply, one of the best and most respected writers alive. He’s taken sf to places it’s never been (Snow Crash, Anathem). He’s reinvented the historical novel (The Baroque Cycle), the international thriller (Reamde), and both at the same time (Cryptonomicon). Now he treats his legion of fans to Some Remarks, an enthralling collection of essays—Stephenson’s first nonfiction work since his long essay on technology, In the Beginning…Was the Command Line, more than a decade ago—as well as new and previously published short writings both fiction and non. Some Remarks is a magnificent showcase of a brilliantly inventive mind and talent, as he discourses on everything from Sir Isaac Newton to Star Wars.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sometimes when you’re reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn’t just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.”

    Lev Grossman, Time 

  • “There’s an intellectual pill buried deep in Mr. Stephenson’s narrative candy, one powerful enough that he deserves to be classified as a major national and international resource.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The collection’s range and the author’s lively voice keep it entertaining…Stephenson fans will surely find much to enjoy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A must-read for Stephenson’s fans, of course, but also for readers who enjoy thought-provoking, entertaining, and (occasionally) just plain out-there nonfiction.”


  • “Includes the text of a speech at Gresham College, a revealing interview with Salon, and a massively long but massively interesting piece of investigative journalism for Wired, which deals with the history, technology, and logistics of the submarine cable industry. [Stephenson] traveled across the world—and back in time—to explain in ways surely comprehensible to most readers how all of this started, how it works, and what it costs…The historical significance of his work is sizeable. Readers will emerge from that labyrinthine piece with a more comprehensive understanding of how the Internet works, how information gets from here to there and back again…[An] engaging assortment from a talented literary mind.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A 2013 Locus Award Nominee

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A.J. | 2/7/2014

    " A bit of a mixed bag. The FLAG chapter was far too technical to be interesting, although there were parts of it that I enjoyed. I liked the characterisation of life in a MACT and thought the essay on being a bad correspondent might just have effectively been titled 'Why I'm a good writer'. But there was an awful lot of geekiness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/5/2014

    " What would Neal Stephenson write that I wouldn't want to read? I don't know...haven't found that unicorn yet. But WHY do I want to read whatever he cares to write about? This lovely little collection of essays helps to explain why. Stephenson is interested in complicated problems, and respectful of the competence that solves those problems, whether it's the competence of the mad geniuses who (separately) invent the calculus or the competence of the manual laborer who knows how to dig the ditch PROPERLY so it doesn't flood with the first rainfall. He writes about such things with enthusiasm, absolutely confident that you, reader, will also be captivated by such things. And he's absolutely correct. The highlight of this collection is "Mother Earth, Mother Board", about the laying of transoceanic cable, although really I liked just about everything here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 12/25/2013

    " In the ultimate essay of Some Remarks Neal Stephenson says the time he might spend answering e-mails could be better spent writing fiction. In my opinion the time spent compiling this volume would have been better spent writing fiction as well. With that bit of snark behind me I can also say I enjoyed reading this for the most part. The central and longest of the essays on laying cable did go on a bit though. Overall it is a fun read and Stephenson has some pretty good ideas to throw out along the way. The two pieces of short fiction are a mixed bag with "Spew"(originally titled "Hacking the Spew" I believe) superior in all respects to "The Great Simolean Caper" which read a bit too pedestrian for a Stephenson piece. I would definitely say the fan has the much better chance of enjoying these pieces than the casual reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlie | 12/4/2013

    " If you are already a NS fan, you will probably like about half of this book. He's at his best when he's reflecting further on some themes that have come up in his novels - like working while walking on treadmills, the metaphysics of Leibniz, the technologically-induced ADD of society, and so on. The earlier pieces are included only for the creepy NS stalkers who are hoarding everything he's written. I don't think he really had enough built-up material to justify this collection, but, as I said, there are some interesting pieces. Borrow it if you can. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 12/1/2013

    " Informative and thought-provoking, this collection of Stephenson's non-fiction is a thoughtful snapshot of the writer and his audience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 11/24/2013

    " This is a collection of Stephenson's essays. If you didn't already know the guy was brilliant, this will convince you. Don't miss his article "Mother Earth Motherboard", which in my opinion was the best article ever printed in Wired magazine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 10/5/2013

    " I'll always take Stephenson's non-fiction over fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 8/20/2013

    " Stephenson is my favorite author, but much of this was a snooze. Decided to move on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 6/24/2013

    " First rate. Many interesting reflections by Stephenson and a long and fascinating article on the science and engineering of underseas cables. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 6/12/2013

    " As a true Stephenson fanatic I had read a lot of this before. Great fun. Clever guy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassandra | 6/6/2013

    " Good, but not as good as William Gibson's "Distrust That Particular Flavor." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sárá | 6/5/2013

    " It was good in parts, OK in others. Some content overlapped over each other, and the essays weren't as strong as the fiction. But still, very very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 5/23/2013

    " I just really like Neal Stephenson. I know some of the other reviews take issue with the fact that this is all stuff that's been published elsewhere, that it's lightweight stuff, comparatively speaking, etc.... I don't care. I like his style, I like his curiosity, and I like what he has to say. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 3/26/2013

    " Fantastic collection of essays and short stories. Mother Earth Motherboard was a fantastic essay giving a history of the wire - from the telegraph through transatlantic fiberoptic cables. Highly recommended! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Unit | 2/24/2013

    " A non-fiction collection of Neal Stephenson's recent work/interviews/etc. I really enjoyed "Mother Earth, Mother Board," especially after a summer doing fiber optic resistance checks for a US cabling laying operation. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 11/4/2012

    " Meh -- I usually like Neal Stephenson's work. The intro to this collection says it's a hodgepodge, and I have to agree. Some I liked, and some just bored me. I suppose I prefer Stephenson geeking out on his obsessions when it's in service of a plotline. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob | 10/30/2012

    " Thoughtful writings that really show off Stephenson's interest in the stories behind what he finds fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frederick | 8/22/2012

    " A good survey of the thought-provoking Neal Stephenson's polemics. I always recommend his work to anyone who will listen, so I am a hard-core fan. This collection adds to the corpus of stuff that allows us to speculate about what's under the hood of this magnificent brain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 8/12/2012

    " Mainly on the strength of the mini-book/essay "Mother Earth Mother Board", which is just awesome. "

About the Author

Mark Teppo suffers from a mild case of bibliomania, which serves him well in his ongoing pursuit of a writing career. Fascinated with the mystical and the extra-ordinary, he channels this enthusiasm into fictional explorations of magic realism, urban fantasy, and surreal experimentation. Recently, he’s been building franchises and writing historical fiction.

About the Narrator

Jeff Cummings, as an audiobook narrator, has won both an Earphones Award and the prestigious Audie Award in 2015 for Best Narration in Science and Technology. He is also a twenty-year veteran of the stage, having worked at many regional theaters across the country, from A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City and the International Mystery Writers’ Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky. He also spent seven seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.