Neal Stephenson Explains the Rise of Novelistic TV

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Neal Stephenson’s epic sci-fi novel Seveneves was one of 10 books that especially impressed TIME’s editors this year, but many of the works of culture that caught Stephenson’s own eye weren’t on the page—but rather, on the screen.

“This year, the thing we’re going to remember is how good television was,” he said. “There was enough really good TV that it became a problem: Which show am I going to binge-watch now?”

Citing top-notch shows like Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones, Stepheonson said, “It may be the case that TV competes with reading books—I guess technically it does—but I think the reason that TV is so good and it’s succeeding so well now is because of the writing. It’s because it is novelistic in its scope.”

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