Tonight I went to see Neal Stephenson reading from his new book "Anathem", which was a bit difficult due to waterstones not having a working radio mike, so Mr Stephenson had to shout his reading.
After the reading there was the question and answer session, all the question were from glasses wearing wanna-be-authors asking about writing and not many question about the stories or characters. I really wanted to know who Mr Stephenson thought would win in a fight between "Captain Jack Sparrow" and "Half-Cocked Jack Shaftoe"?
But I did find out that by the time he was almost finished "Cryptonomicon" he came up with the idea for "The Baroque Cycle" and was able to place teaser-mcguffins into Cryptonomicon.
Not that every bit about Solomanic gold was cunningly put in as a tease, Mr Stephenson smiled quite widely when i Enoch Root's cigar box and the golden punchcards.
I did also find out that Half-Coked Jack Shaftoe's Syphilis was cured by the high fever (apparently this was crib from the life of Sir Richard Francis Burton who may have been cured of the clap by malaria) and not as I suspected that he was brought back to life by Enoch Root. Which I could have sworn there was a passage in "Confusion" that alluded to this.
It were great and then I came home and had oven chips.