Nicked from the bald yeti:

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

US Cover

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

UK Cover


Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing viral gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers— young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.

For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center.

In this edgy, 21st century tale, Neal Stephenson, one of the most ambitious and prophetic writers of our time, returns to the terrain of his cyberpunk masterpieces Snow Crash and Crpytonomicon, leading readers through the looking glass and into the dark heart of imagination.

Give me the US cover any day of the week. I like the skyline on the UK cover, but that weirdo texture at the top just is cheap and confusing; plus, a cityscape doesn’t really seem to properly represent the novel outlined in the synopsis. I love the bold, fuck you typography on the US cover. I’m not usually one for Stephenson’s work (“work” being the first word that comes to mind when I think of picking up one of his novels), but Reamde has my attention. I mean, British Columbia (where I live) and MMORPGs-come-to-life? Sign me up.

  • Patrick [YetiStomper] June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am

    If you are going to pilfer my posts, fine. But why must you imply I am alopecic?

  • aidan June 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Well, it occurred to me today that for a yeti, you’ve not much hair at all. At least grow a beard or raggedy soul patch, man!

  • Yano June 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

    i prefer the us version, too. =)
    at least it points out to the “reamde” spelling… which is a “interesting” title. yes. these are quotationmarks.

  • Adam Tuttle June 14, 2011 at 7:07 am

    You might also like Daemon, a two book series by Daniel Suarez. I was going to leave a little bit of a synopsis but I couldn’t do it without spoiling anything. As a former WoW player and total nerd, I really loved these books. Very, very few technical mistakes made, which really cut back on pedantic distractions and made the books very enjoyable.

  • Felix June 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    “plus, a cityscape doesn’t really seem to properly represent the novel outlined in the synopsis.”

    That’s what the texture is for. I have no opinion about the cover though. I personally find the MMORPG topic as tired as it gets (what, we no longer can convincingly prophecise about virtual worlds so we take the normality of real games and some underground economics from the gaming news) but Stephenson is a specialist of spinning energetic narratives and thought experiments with unmodified, objectified givens.

  • Miles June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Why is it that Neal Stephenson always brings Terry Goodkind to mind?

  • Felix June 20, 2011 at 10:55 am

    @ Miles
    If my use of “objectified” gave you that idea, I disagree completely. It’s not comparable in the least.

  • Felix June 20, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I meant merely that he has a very technical view of things, rather than a psychologically nuanced or poetic style. But that is a valid and insightful way of representation, although with some limitations.

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