Stephenson has become one of my favourite writers over the past year. Every book by him that I've read so far, I liked. 'Quicksilver', the first part of the Baroque Cycle, is no exception.
Quicksilver is, in a some ways, not as akin to the cyberpunk and sci-fi works Stephenson is famous for as you'd expect. In fact, it is more of a historical precursor to 'Cryptonimicon'. It is however, science fiction in a quite literal sense. The history and development of science (as well as economical and political developments) play a major role in this novel, with people like Isaac Newton, Christiaan Huygens, Leibniz, and the Royal Society of England filling in side roles.
At the same time, there quite some adventure in the novel as well, with a considerable amount of swashbuckling and spying going on, and a whole lot of political intrigue. I guess this is what makes Stephenson's works so appealing, a combination of sophisticated backgrounds with exciting plotworks.
The stage has been set in 'Quicksilver', and though it's a hefty read at over 900 pages, it was worth the effort, and I wonder what'll turn up in parts two and three.