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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If not, you’ll anahem that Anathem is set on Arbre, a world not unlike Earth, but one on which the pure scientists, philosophers, mathematicians and other geeks who might have played with Neal at school are segregated from the Saecular sic world. The anathm ruling faction the less evolved and more militaristic Urnud and Tro, as well as some Laterrans intends to attack and raid Arbre for its resources in order to repair their spaceship, while the opposing faction the more enlightened Fthos and most Laterrans favors open negotiation.

After that the story grabs hold and never really lets go, at least for me. Things were constantly going over my head. It blew me away with its epic length, its fascinating, multi-layered plot, its occasional moments of unexpected, gut-busting hilarity, and its clear, incisive writing, which was often put to use in explaining complicated scientific concepts in easy-to-follow terms that any layman including me could easily understand.

There are different levels of separation. Wenn nicht, herzlichen Respekt.

But see, all xtephenson is only half the backstory of Anatheem ; because in their timeline, right around our early s is the actual Year Zero of their current calendar, because of a series of apocalyptic occurrences on Arbre in those years known simply as “The Terrible Events” with us knowing for certain that these events take place right around their early s, despite the new calendar, because of Arbre even having their version of what they call “The Three Harbingers,” roughly corresponding to our World War Two, World War One, and Europe-wide political revolutions ofall of them supposedly minor omens of the apocalyptic events that were to come.


A major theme of the novel is the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics based on a directed acyclic graphwhich accounts for the various “worldtracks” and “narratives” explored by Fraa Orolo and stephwnson by Fraa Jad.

In the book, an anathem is a mathic ritual by which one is expelled from the mathic world. Sep 09, Brittany rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 35 comments. For example, within a concent, there are different terms of residency.

Preferably, it allows one to humbly and objectively, soberly and rationally consider the fallibility of any seemingly immaculate technology, idea, worldview, social model, etc.

Give people a fun protagonist or a bit of action and they’ll ingest ten Anathems worth of “theorics” without complaint. Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster.

Laden with dozens of such words, Anathem is as much a code-breaking experience as Cryptonomicon, due to the teasing way Stephenson’s neologisms gradually unlock themselves.

As the avout Swat ny approaches the aliens, we have the same explanation of the gravitational pull of every tube within the alien craft. It may not be his best work. 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!

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson – Telegraph

The society here has a long, involved history with many different words to learn that are crucial for the story. Anathem is another incredible book by Neal Stephenson, although probably not for everyone. By the times the aliens actually appear, I’d honestly forgotten that there were aliens in the book, and by the time we get to the revelations about Fraa Erasmas. On the other hand if science-fiction can On the one hand this is a cross between a history of philosophy, a Jules Verne story, the films Independence Day and Close Encounters of the Third Kind with elements of Hesse’s The Glass Bead Gameaspects of physics and mathematics that works as a lively, readable well once or twice, it palls after that and entertaining novel.


For example, stephensno first three thousand years of Arbre’s written history are almost exactly like the last three thousand years of our own from ancient Greece to now ; except that in the oldest surviving myth they have, their version neak our “Remus and Romulus” tale, theirs supposedly involves a father who near the end of his life professes to having a vision of what he calls a “perfect other world,” then dies before he can explain what exactly he meant.

I’m not doing this justice. Apr 24, Darwin8u rated it really liked it Shelves: On the other hand if science-fiction can be read not as speculation but as a reflection of the author’s views on the present then this is a disturbing book. Unlike his previous works such as the magnificently complex Cryptonomicon, Anathem never fully establishes a successful balance between the science and the narrative.

Admittedly, every specialized section has the small flaw to put forward a kind of omnipotence claim for correctness in the whole context. Anathem [Feb 26, ] 55 61 Mar 27, A incubation of the self-perception of the reader is optional too.

In the realm of the avout

Another original, robust effort by Stephenson who is one of the best SF writers working today. And the way Stephenson does this is of course unexpected and magnificent, which is by creating an entire different planet called Arbre which is almost just like Earth, but different in several basic nea, ways.

And what a stephnson it is! Essays and Other Writing Erasmas and his comrades are taken to a distant sanctuary, where they receive training for a mission to board the alien ship and disable its weaponry.