"Zodiac" by Neal Stephenson

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Posted by muppet (12th Oct 2001, 12:06)

Originally published in Wyrmtongue October 2001.

Neal Stephenson is an incredible author - read everything he has written this instant!! Okay, now I've got that out of the way I'll move on to reviewing the book.

Zodiac is describe by itself as an 'eco-thriller' and revolves around a chemist turned eco-warrior who works for a Greenpeace equivalent organisation in Boston. Sangamon Taylor (his name - another thing Neal Stephenson is good at - names) zooms around Boston harbour in his Zodiac speedboat (40 horse power engine - very cool) and searches out chemical spills and then arranges plugs for the pipes, protests outside head offices etc.

Sanagamon discovers a very large concentration of PCBs in the harbour and sets about tracing them back to their source. He discovers more than he bargained for - a genetically engineered environmental cleanup bug gone wrong that has the potential to pollute the world.

Despite a good storyline, strong characters and a strong descriptive ability, to me Neal Stephenson's greatest strength is firstly his ability to put accurate (and believable) science and technology into his books and secondly to write about what I can only describe as 'cool' ideas.

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