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Cryptonomicon Review…finally.

You can’t be lazy to get through Neal Stephenson’s latest.

One Lazy Robot

I can barely believe it’s over. Cryptonomicon consumed my reading schedule over the course of the past few weeks in a way no other book has in a long, long time. It was starting to become an albatross around my neck, but alas, it’s behind me now. Finally I can move on.

But before I do, let’s have ourselves a little review, shall we?

Cryptonomicon is like an onion, or an ogre…full of layers.

There are multiple story lines taking place over the course of two separate time periods. There are multiple characters with the same name who know the same people which makes for a generally confusing state of affairs. Consequently, at the end of this 1000 page behemoth, I’m hard pressed to recall the name of a certain main character. It’s on the tip of my tongue, I swear, but it’s lost among a sea of same-namedness.

There are…

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The 25 Most Anticipated Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2015

25 recommendations from the dimensionally transcendental.


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LookBack 2014: Sci-fi and fantasy in paperback

Eleven editions worth your reading time

Tor and Forge publishers reprinted some of their best titles by some of science fiction’s and fantasy’s best authors in trade paperback editions — and a graphic novel — that covered hardback releases from 1997 to 2013. We all have our favorites; I certainly have mine. Let these books refresh your memory or make their first impressions on you.

Transcendental by James Gunn

Knife of Dreams: Book Eleven of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World: The Wheel of Time, the Graphic Novel Volume Three, written by Robert Jordan, adapted by Chuck Dixon, artwork by Marcio Fiorito and Francis Nuguit

The Soprano Sorceress: The First Book of the Spellsong Cycle by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

The Spook Lights Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini

DemonWars: The First King — Saga of the First King: The Dame and The Bear by R.A. Salvatore

The Traders’ War, originally published separately as The Clan Corporate and The Merchants’ War, by Charles Stross

Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Doctor: An Irish Country Novel by Patrick Taylor

The Ninth Talisman: Volume Two of the Annals of the Chosen by Lawrence Watt-Evans

Star Bridge by Jack Williamson and James Gunn (“One of the most vital images in science fiction.” –Samuel R. Delany)

The Land Across by Gene Wolfe


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LookAhead 2015: Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez in duo recital

It’s a duo recital world debut for opera stars

You don’t have to look any further than today, 1 February, for a concert event of the year. Kansas City’s own Joyce DiDonato and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Harriman-Jewell Series with a gala brunch and concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a crown jewel on the Kansas City arts scene.

The Harriman-Jewell Series knows how to celebrate its 50th anniversary as a presenter of world-class artists in grand style.

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LookBack 2014: Best Album, Americana — Rosanne Cash, The River and the Thread

When “most personal album to date” is not a cliché

Rosanne Cash and husband/producer John Leventhal took a journey through the South, her South, where memories live and inspire and imbue songs with the breath of families.

In tandem with a tour where the Cash and Leventhal duo deliver these stories to your heart, Cash’s The River and the Thread bring the ghosts of history to life.

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Aaron Goldberg at the Jazz Standard

It’s an Aaron Goldberg Trio weekend

Tonight is the second of a four-night stand for the Aaron Goldberg Trio at New York’s Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., (212) 576-2232.

Pianist Goldberg will be joined by bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.

Goldberg has played with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard and more illuminaries during his 15-year career. Rogers has played with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove. Harland is a member of Charles Lloyd’s Quartet, Dave Holland’s Prism, James Farm with Joshua Redman and Taylor Eigsti’s Trio.

Come hear three of the strongest players on the scene today.

Music charge: $20.

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Midnight rendezvous with Hailey Tuck

Hailey Tuck will make her NYC debut when the clock strikes 12

She’s 23 years old, and she evokes the 1920s in vintage dress and Belle Epoque late-night jazz parties. She’s having one tonight at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778.

She’s sold out shows in Paris at Le Duc des Lombards, and she looks like a 21st-century Louise Brooks. Hailey, true to her presentation, makes every show a jazz party.


She also makes contemporary tunes her own. Give a listen, then go see the show: Hailey Tuck’s take on Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.”

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