Dear Mr. Stephenson,
I just got the results back from my "GRE" test--that's the one they make you take when you apply to grad school so they can see if you're smart enough--and I am happy to report I got a 5.5 out of 6 on the essay. I was aiming for a five, so I did better than I expected. Almost perfect, actually. Anyway, I just wanted to write to you and say thank you, because the essay question I had was something along the lines of "It is always a good idea to have an outcome in mind before conducting scientific experiments" --and then I had to agree or disagree. Well, I disagreed. Big time. Because, you see, I had just started on Book 3 of the Baroque Cycle--"A System of the World" and, as you probably know, since you wrote them, the Baroque Cycle is all about Science and Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, so I was learning about Science and Scientific Theory through the magic of fiction. And, since I am a left-brained sort of person, the information stuck with me a lot better than it did when I was sixteen and sleeping through Mr. Lyga's biology class. So when the question came up on my GRE, I laughed (silently, so as not to interrupt any of my fellow testers), then proceeded to argue against the statement, liberally peppering my essay with references to Newton, Hooke, Halley and that one guy who started the Royal Observatory whose name escapes me. I wrote it just like the Princeton Review told me to, with a hint of "colour" thrown in courtesy of your books. Now, I would say I'm not your biggest fan--while I enjoyed the Baroque Cycle, I feel like I should get a medal for slogging through three thousand pages, also, Book Two "The Confusion" was just that: confusing, and not very funny, actually--but I am definitely one most in your debt. So thank you very much for doing your research and providing such excellent, wonderful, memorable details. I look forward to re-reading "Snow Crash" and wish you much luck on your future endeavours.