Every few years, my favorite living author, Neal Stephenson, puts out another long novel, and I make it a priority to read it. I bought Seveneves well in advance, and I'm about 100 pages into it so far, which is to say I haven't made it very far.
As I've mentioned earlier, there is an interesting parallel between Stephenson and Robert Anton Wilson. Both published novels set in the present which helped make their names (Cryptonomicon and Illuminatus!, respectively) and then published a series of historical novels, featuring ancestors of the characters in the previous novel (e.g., Stephenson the Baroque Cycle, Wilson the Historical Illuminatus! books such as The Earth Will Shake, the Widow's Son, etc.) Probably just coincidence they both did things this way, but who knows?
I do a books blog for my day job, and I interview authors. I've put in an interview request with Stephenson's publicist. The answer will likely be "No" (actually, it will be interesting to see if I get a response at all), but if I get the interview, I'll ask Stephenson if he got the idea for the historical novels from RAW.