Buried in an excerpt of Neal Stephenson’s interview with Locus Magazine is a throwaway line that mentions his next project:
Fall, featuring some characters from Reamde, is forthcoming.
Well that’s interesting, isn’t it? It certainly doesn’t say much, and there’s almost nothing else being reported out there. After many machinations, I managed to discover a slightly more descriptive notice at Publisher’s Weekly (it has since gone off the first page and thus requires a login, but Google Cache still has it, and this blog picked it up as well):
NYT bestselling author, including the most recent SEVENEVES, Neal Stephenson’s FALL, pitched as a high-tech retelling of PARADISE LOST featuring some characters from REAMDE, to Jennifer Brehl at William Morrow, in a major deal, for publication in Fall 2017, by Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff & Verrill (World English).
The plot thickens. Sorta. I have no idea how a story about Lucifer’s quest to poison God’s most favored creation (with flashbacks to angelic wars) would play out in a high-tech fashion (with characters from a contemporary thriller like Reamde), but hell, I’m on board. And Fall of 2017 (I see what they did there) is not that far away in Stephensonian timescales (most books are separated by 3-4 years), so I’m sure we’ll find out more in due time. While I have no idea how this will work, it’s not at all surprising that Stephenson is working on a Milton-themed book…
No word on the series of historical novels Stephenson teased in an interview a few years ago:
Stephenson says he has returned to the past to tap a “similar vein” to that covered in his globe-spanning Baroque Cycle.
“They’re historical novels that have a lot to do with scientific and technological themes and how those interact with the characters and civilisation during a particular span of history,” he says of the new series, refusing to be specific about the exact period.
“It looks like it will start with two back-to-back volumes.
“One of those is largely done and the other will be done early next winter. So I think [they will be released] mid-to-late 2014 perhaps – something like that.”
Well clearly that didn’t happen, as Stephenson must have switched gears to put out the long gestating Seveneves. No word as to when or even if these novels will ever happen. Whatever the case, I’m all aboard the Stephenson train, as per usual.
Update from November, 2018: Fall, or Dodge in Hell is confirmed!
Update from August, 2019: The book is out, I have read it, and I have thoughts.