Posted by: John Savageau in writers, technology on
Jan 8, 2010
There is nothing more irritating or annoying to a professional soldier than to watch a movie and find technical errors. A haircut that is out of regulation, a misplaced ribbon or medal, errors in weapon nomenclature, or even unit designations and locations. A soldier knows within a millisecond when there is a technical error - and it dilutes even the best story line. Telecom and Internet industry-related professionals have the same emotion when terms, equipment, or architectures are mispresented in movies.
Then along comes an author who has either really done his homework well, had great advice, or simply knows his subject matter cold. Once the credibility is firmly established, then there is an uncanny ability to lay a story on top of that technical credibility, and keep even the most critical geek engaged.
Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" was the first novel I had read which met this strict criteria. Did a good job, because I spent most of the next year reading everything he ever wrote, and have kept up since with great stories such as "Anathem." I trust Neal Stephenson, so I am able to freely indulge in his stories without becoming tolerant of an error-prone technical structure to the story.