Little smart parts

Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing


Neal Stephenson is better known for his novels than he is for his shorter works. Now, Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing (William Morrow, $25.99) features short stories, magazine articles, interviews and essays. The collection illuminates just how smart Stephenson is, writing in detail on such topics as the rivalry between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the world’s longest wire, and, of course, several essays using Star Wars as a metaphor for, well, everything. One particular highlight here is the short short story “Under-Constable Proudfoot,” which is actually the opening line to a serial-killer thriller that Stephenson says he’ll likely never finish.