The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal StephensonFrom bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.
When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.
Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world jams the frequencies used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.
And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.
Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humor of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places—and times—beyond imagining.
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For the next step, you'll be taken to a website to complete the donation and enter your billing information. You'll then be redirected back to LARB. To take advantage of all LARB has to offer, please create an account or log in before joining There is less than a week left to support our matching grant fund drive! Your tax-deductible donation made to LARB by pm, December 31, will be doubled thanks to an anonymous donor. This is the first independent literary collaboration of Nicole Galland and Neal Stephenson who first worked together with several other authors on the Mongoliad Cycle , and it defies reduction.
It follows from this that stories about overcoming time tend towards the comic, because at root they are fantasies of escape from mortality.
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The Rise and the Fall of D. With that in mind, the fact that I chose to review his new book should not come as a surprise to anyone. Like most of his books The Rise and the Fall of D. Unlike most of his other work, this is a collaboration with author and screen writer Nicole Galland. While it reads like a Stephenson book, with all the science and love of detail that is his hallmark, there is a different quality to it as well and I think Galland had a strong influence on style as well as subject matter.
The Rise and Fall of D. The story follows the members of a secret U. Stephenson and Galland had previously written together on The Mongoliad. Army Major Tristan Lyons hires Dr. Melisande Stokes, a Harvard linguistics lecturer, to translate a variety of historic texts. The work is classified, to the point that Lyons cannot even reveal the full name of D.