Dear J—

When I read Seveneves I searched around for critical response to that book and was fairly underwhelmed by the tepid response: with each book there’s a wave of critics claiming that Stephenson has gotten overlong and under-delivered on his world-building promises. I agree that it’s quite a story to finish in one novel, but the alternative (hey, let’s make it a trilogy!) would mean having to wait for each one to release before trying them all because holy god, there’s nothing worse than years-long wait on cliffhangers left unresolved.

Another piece of criticism I read came from readers who were choosing between Seveneves and the novel I just finished, Ernest Cline’s Armada. In terms of your 2015 science fiction story-per-dollar spent, I would agree with those who elected the former, though I can see why you’d spend money on Armada. The ending felt a bit … rushed, I guess you’d say, thoguh the pacing is brisk and the characterization is bright, though a bit Mary Sue (gorgeous mom! heroic dad! awesome girlfriend!). I would have eaten this up in junior high, honestly, and the references to the SciFi canon were well-done.



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