Review: Anathem by Neal StephensonNeal Stephenson’s speculations on language and philosophy impress Christopher Brookmyre. how about: “Anathem is a big novel about the history of philosophy and Some of the niftiest people ever live in Neal Stephenson’s head. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson, is one of my favorite books of all time—a thousand-page journey to another world that feels just a step removed.

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In the realm of the avout

But it does, and it’s funny as hell, too. And also thus is it that what might seem to be very scientific people to us are actually considered blindly religious to the Sephenson, the so-called “number-worshippers” who idolize the specifics of math without understanding any of the underlying theories that make the equations work.

Orolo secretly observes the alien ship with a video camera, technology that is prohibited for the avout. Also, I’m given to understand that some people would prefer not to have to think about polar coordinates, geometric proofs, bubble universes, string theory, or relativity in their nneal reading. The avout even have their own slightly different version of Occam’s Razor, which they call the Steelyard. That would, of course, mean that no one could pass judgment on a book until they’d read the whole thing.

Campbell Memorial Awards the same year.

Thus, the author ends up gaining very little except where it relates to his twist, such as it is and which you can see coming three or four hundred pages away.

And that’s because Stephenson can do something almost no other American writer currently putting out work can; he can take a healthy dose of the popular zeitgeist at any given moment, mine it to understand the underlying b and hopes these trendy obsessions actually express, twist it using some of the most inventive speculative fictional tropes that have ever been created, infuse it with the kind of heady, complex “pure science” usually only understood by nuclear physicists and NOVA hosts, then spit it out in these breathtakingly dense thousand-page tomes every couple of years.


View all 10 comments. These objects are made with “newmatter” matter made with a modified atomic structure to be more versatileand can be made to alter their shape, texture and other physical properties without nael use of tools or other outside technologies.

View all 16 comments. Anathem, however, is very rewarding. The multiple-worlds interpretation of the cosmos is discussed in great detail by the high-level avout at successive evening meals to which Erasmas performs the duties of a servant.

There are a number of technical problems to writing sci-fi and fantasy. Essays and Other Writing Archived from the original on 13 September To shy away from it is to refuse to be what you are capable of being. The novel was partly inspired by Stephenson’s involvement with the Clock of the Long Now project, to which he contributed three pages of sketches and notes.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson – Telegraph

And stelhenson, this grand a goal is not actually as big a stretch as it might seem at first; after all, according to how recent history has played out, we’re hovering right around a time these days where we as a society will be creating a big giant new way for us to even think about such basic subjects as faith, reason, the meaning of life, and more.

If anything, I may have enjoyed this trilogy even more than “Cryptonomicon”; it was obvious that his writing style was maturing, that he was reining in his b to go off on tangents while still utilizing such tactics on occasion much more judiciously nowand that his word choices were becoming even better, his writing style even more clear than it had been before. Rather than crafting stories about the effects of these concepts, it crafts a story about people who try to understand them.

I also don’t want to start over. I’m not doing this justice.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Rather than focusing on worship of any god, the inhabitants of this monastery–which is co-ed and does not require celibacy of its inhabitants–devote themselves to studying principles of science and mathematics.


Refresh and try again. It may not be his best work. Each chapter begins with a definition of one of these words, which usually relates to the chapter in some way. Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent’s gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious “extras” in.

Apr 27, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 17 comments. It features four different narrators Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and Neal Stephenson doing glossary definitions at the start of each chapterand the characters are given distinct voices and personalities.

More dense, less accessible, and somehow not as interesting as Cryptonomicon, it’s a book that almost violently defies categorization. In one Narrative, Fraa Jad awakens Erasmas and leads him through the ship toward the command center.

Newton and the other proto-scientists of the Baroque “Royal Society” always saw their pursuits as an offshoot of religion; it’s only been in the last years that science has taken on a reputation as being an abomination to God, as the insane efficiency of the scientific process theorize, test, observe, record without bias has meant a profoundly fast increase in scientific sophistication, to the point where scientists must now spend their entire lives studying the specific pursuit they mean to make their career just to get caught up, and now not just observe nature in action but actively manipulate it, thus “playing God” in the eyes of many instead of merely worshipping God through natural observation.