Back to the D.O.D.O.

The wind and rain is howling outside the windows, it’s a great time to go read some books. A few months ago I absolutely devoured all the Dresden Files series in eBooks. And I have yet to review them. On a side note – the author recently posted that he finished the draft for the latest book which has been years in the making.

A couple of years ago I heard of The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland. Just by the title, it was intriguing and quirky. It’s described as a blend of historical fiction, sci-fi, and a bit of fantasy. I am quite familiar with Stephenson’s works. Snowcrash was one of the books that got me into long-form reading as a hobby. Seveneves was just a masterpiece of an epic story. He writes in meticulously detailed hard science fiction and sometimes it can be very hard to chew through. The book I have is the massive almost 800-page hardcover. It’s quite daunting and that’s why I actually did stop reading in the middle of it.

With the weather inviting and an old book waiting to be read again – I decided to pick D.O.D.O back up. It starts off quite normally with a few chapters being narrated by our main character. Then I notice the tense and the point of view being used. Together with the constant interjections of ‘dear reader’ the book paints itself as a sort of journal. Further into the book more characters are introduced and more of their personal entries are mixed in. Upon reaching Part Three almost every chapter is now written in different formats. From e-mails, memos, casual conversations, letters, and even resumes. This is very fascinating. A story being told through a collection of documents – a dossier.

I’ll try to give a few crumbs of the story without giving everything away. Well, I’m just right in the middle of it so I don’t even know how it ends. The first mystery of the book is about magic – more specifically the lack of it. History points to the existence of magic and also to its steady decline. Eventually we arrive at a hypothesis on why magic is gone. That theory involves some neat application of quantum physics. It’s the hook that got me. The complexity of the this world’s magic system being explained as science in vivid detail and metaphors. It gets to the point of rebuilding and reinforcing the little magic they have with technology. This is just about the point where I’m at now. The Rise of D.O.D.O. I can’t wait to see how it all falls apart.

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