Pasatiempo - - IN OTHER WORDS - Cy­ber-writer: Neal Stephenson

There is a real prob­lem in the uni­verse called “space de­bris” — old pieces of satel­lites and other man-made ob­jects in or­bit around Earth that can crash into each other and im­pede the safety of fu­ture space ex­plo­ration. This was the true-life seed of in­spi­ra­tion that Neal Stephenson needed for his new­est novel, Seven­eves (Wil­liam Morrow, 2015), but in true Stephenson fash­ion, he brings in a host of other science-fic­tion sta­ples to com­pli­cate the plot. In this case, we’re deal­ing with an ex­plod­ing moon, re­pop­u­la­tion of the Earth via seven women, and the ge­net­ics of in­ter­breed­ing aliens and hu­mans.

Stephenson is the au­thor of sev­eral wildly pop­u­lar post-cy­ber­punk spec­u­la­tive-fic­tion nov­els, in­clud­ing Snow Crash and The Di­a­mond Age: or A Young Ladies Il­lus­trated Primer. His 1999 novel, Crypto­nomi­con, won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 2013. Its sub­jects of com­put­ing, code break­ing, and data havens were an­chored firmly in his­tor­i­cal and sci­en­tific fact. Stephenson is taken quite se­ri­ously by peo­ple in­volved with the fu­ture of tech­nol­ogy and hu­man­ity: He has worked for Blue Ori­gin, an aero­space de­vel­op­ment com­pany de­sign­ing tech­nol­ogy for af­ford­able pri­vate space travel.

Stephenson reads from and signs copies of Seven­eves on Sun­day, Nov. 29, at 3:30 p.m. at the Jean Cocteau Cin­ema (418 Mon­tezuma Ave.). Ad­mis­sion to the read­ing, which is fol­lowed by a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion, is $10; $35 buys you a hard­cover copy of the book and ad­mis­sion to the event. Call 505-466-5528. — Jen­nifer Levin

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