Lord of the Rings

As light relief after the last rather dense post, here’s one of the of the sillier exchanges from Monday’s round-up of events at the British Association meeting:

Quentin Cooper (compere of the event)
– I noticed that one of the speakers described Drexler’s book “Engines of Creation” as the “Lord of the Rings” of nanotechnology, is that right?

– No, Engines of Creation is “The Hobbit” of nanotechnology, it’s short, easy-to-read and everyone likes it. “Nanosystems” is “The Lord of the Rings”, it’s long, dense, half the world thinks it’s the best book ever written and the other half thinks it’s rubbish.

Henry Gee (Nature magazine)
– Are you sure it’s not the Silmarillion?