Atmosphaera Incognita

{4.5/5} “I’d followed his career: the cover stories in the business magazines, the photos of him opening the New York Stock Exchange. I hadn’t realized that he was Carl, the kid from the playground, until he’d become a billionaire, lost most of it, and become a billionaire a second time: exhibiting a tolerance for risk that fit in perfectly with his behavioral profile during recess.”

Atmosphaera Incognita by Neal Stephenson, published in 2019 (originally published in Starship Century in 2013)

Carl, the 11th richest man in America, has a dream: build a tower 20 kilometres tall. Emma, a real estate agent who knew Carl as a kid, goes to work for him. The tower survives Carl’s death from cancer, and it survives the type of changes that must be made on the fly because no one has ever built a tower this tall before.

Most of Stephenson’s books are very long novels — this is a novella. It won’t wow you the way that Snow Crash or Seveneves did, but it does have some interesting ideas.

It’s about technical challenges and human challenges.

I’ve read 10 of Stephenson’s books. I previously reviewed Seveneves.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 28th, 2019 at 9:02 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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