Today I am joined by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland to talk about their new book The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. We chat about how they joined up for this unique take on sci-fi and time travel, each of their histories as writers, writing historical fiction, what it was like for President Obama to recommend Neal’s last book, writing plausible sci-fi and cyberpunk, and much more. *We had some technical problems when we brought all three of us together on the call and had to resort to using the phone for about 2/3 of the interview.
About Neal Stephenson
Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired Magazine, and has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system.
Born in Fort Meade, Maryland (home of the NSA and the National Cryptologic Museum) Stephenson came from a family comprising engineers and hard scientists he dubs “propeller heads”. His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson’s family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1960 and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.
Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic “The Baroque Cycle” (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Nicole Galland is the author of the contemporary comic novel Stepdog, as well as five works of historical fiction: I, Iago; The Fool’s Tale; Godiva; Revenge of the Rose; and Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade. She is also co-author (with Neal Stephenson et al) of the “alternative history” trilogy The Mongoliad. Nicole grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, where she now writes a cheeky etiquette column for the MV Times, and is co-founder of Shakespeare for the Masses, a project that irreverently makes the Bard accessible to the Bardophobics of the world. She is married to actor Billy Meleady and owns Leuco, one of the seven great dogs of the world.
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