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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Fearing alien attack after Durand nela been exposed, the avout evacuate Saunt Tredegarh and all the other concents on Arbre simultaneously. Already you can see there’s alot more going on here than just the story. After all, even Einstein was massively dissed and trolled before his breakthrough.

If you are not equipped with the above, save yourself the torment and just skip it unless hate-reading is your hobby. In the book, an anathem is a mathic ritual by which one is expelled from the mathic world.

Only the aliens turn out not to be so alien, but rather to demand that you turn your attention back to quantum dynamics wake up at the back, there! Chief among them is the tremendous amount of work required to set up a cultural matrix: Campbell Memorial Awards the same year.

This book is very similar: First off, I should mention that it definitely helps to have even a slight interest in the ‘big questions,’ such as the nature of reality My first time reading Anathem was one of the most engrossing reading experiences I’ve ever had, in any genre. Want to Read saving….

Much of the argument hinges on the fact that the aliens and their ship are made of “newmatter,” a special sort of matter that could conceivably be formed in an alternate version of the Big Bang — but which the characters also know how to produce technologically on their own planet, which would seem to render the alternate universe explanation unnecessary.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

It was the third book I read in my Locus Sci-Fi reading list — following Accelerando and Rainbows End — and the first to float my boat to the rafters. The pacing of the novel is exponential which means that its average pace is slow and the first third e x t r e m e l y s l o w.

Cherryh Hyperion by Dan Simmons Stephenson’s got a wildly inventive mind and reading him is like jumping onto a high speed bullet train at full speed.

However, if you DO like these things, and if you also enjoy a romping adventure tale and some good philosophical musings on the nature of consciousness, the universe, and the organization of society, then, my friend, this is a book for you. GoodReads readers, this is one of the rare times when you will literally have to go to the CCLaP website for the second halfbecause of there literally not being room here for both. Some some people may disagree perhaps even violently with this review.


View all 35 comments. And, because this is a Stephenson novel, this leads naturally to alien spaceships, parallel universes, time travel, codes, enigmas, adventures, technology that refuses to work properly, and people in disguise.

The characters are made of cardboard. 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 pleasure reading. Besides, Stephenson absolutely spoon feeds the reader with definitions, both in chapter headings and within the text, to the point that not only is it full of annoying exposition, but much of the fun of deciphering the text is immediately lost.

But I sure loved it. Aug 09, Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing Shelves: Anathem takes place on a world called Arbre, where our narrator, Erasmas or “Raz”, is an avout Decenarian fraa in the concent of Saunt Edhar.

And like I said, thus does the first three thousand years of Arbrean written history pass remarkably like Earth’s, with their version of a Roman Empire the “Bazian Empire” which eventually adopts Catholicism “The Ark of Baz” as its official religion, which eventually leads to a Protestant Reformation the “Anti-Bazians” which turns into their version of the Renaissance “The Rebirth”which on Arbre is when the gates of the ancient Mathic monasteries were first flung open, so that most of the science-worshipping monks could disperse themselves among the public at large, ushering in their version of our “Modern Age” or “Scientific Age” or whatever you want to call it basically, the last years of history, from the Renaissance to nowwhich the Arbreans call “The Praxic Age” on their world, “Praxism” being their word for “technology.

Apr 27, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: Still, it feels like cheating. Not for casual reading, but fans of sci fi, physics or alternate world plots should give it a try. For example, a year order would celebrate Apert once every ten years, remaining isolated otherwise.

Wenn nicht, herzlichen Respekt. How can something this complicated in its entirety read so easily, so effortlessly? While anathdm attempt to co-mingle theorems with popular stephejson is admirable, Anathem never manages to connect with the reader on an emotional level. Anathem is not an easy or quick read, unless you happen to be one of those rare individuals capable of extracting milk from an ornery camel atop a shifting bed of colloid hydrogel. This gives them ample opportunity for the investigation of some odd happenings in their lives.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson | World news | The Guardian

Three people — including Fraa Jad — are issued detonators. And thus does yet another entire three thousand years pass, three thousand years of “future history” that haven’t actually happened on Earth yet, where humanity ends up progressing in sstephenson distinctly different ways; how the Saecular world essentially becomes a neverending chaos of revolutions and superstitions, a Second Dark Age ruled by an alliance of brain-dead tech worshippers and traditional Evangelicals, where skyscrapers and post-apocalyptic wars come and go faster than people can even keep track, while the Mathic monasteries become timeless closed citadels of pure theoretical thought, where monks master such impossibly dense subjects as quantum mechanics and genetic manipulation using nothing more than chalk marks on slate, stick drawings in the dirt.


Views Read Edit View history. These authors serve as translators. In the final Narrative the one steephenson continues forward Erasmas awakens in a hospital on the starship to the perplexing news that Fraa Jad had died immediately after their launch, contradicting his obvious presence and Raz’s memories up to that point. His widely discussed switch from composing on a word processor to writing longhand with a fountain pen no doubt had something to do with his occasional restraint, but also avoided damaging his propensity for the nea, explorations that drew me in in the first place.

There is an amusing review here on Goodreads that mocks the language of Anathem. It’s a damn near perfect story, including great characters, pacing, reveals, science, politics, philosophy, and even religion and poetry. Readers are capable of absorbing information at a much faster rate than Stephenson presents it; a reader of Anathem is more in danger of being bored than being overwhelmed.

It’s just a bunch of monks talking philosophy and science in an alien world? But it does, and it’s funny as hell, too.

Maybe I can find the literary equivalent of a Michael Bay movie… Anathem by Neal Stephenson 16 Feb 14, A incubation of the self-perception of the reader is optional too. His prose is dense, but his worldview contagious. Especially one that you really WANT to like, by an author whose work you respect, and has been lauded by critics and readers alike.

In the realm of the avout

So I think the snathem for this book will be very small possibly composed solely of physics majors? There are several restrictions governing, for example, the use of “sequencing” genetic engineering”syntactic devices” computersor other “praxis” technology. Both hold, for me, a boundlessly engaging fascination that comes at the price of being made to feel infinitesimally small: