Review: Anathem by Neal StephensonNeal Stephenson’s speculations on language and philosophy impress Christopher Brookmyre. 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. 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.

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An adventure drama about a military spaceship sent to a remote part of the galaxy to prevent hostile aliens from establishing hegemony, and marooned when their hyperdrive is damaged in an ambush.

There are still some pages or passages which are still not clear anahem me even now but the story itself is clear enough.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Still, I am intrigued by what I have heard about it and so I consumed a copious amount of fish and cracked the book open Taking ideas that might not get a lot of traction beyond really specialized groups of philosophers, and introduce them to a larger public by creating a narrative that folds them, bends them into coherent stories. All of these are important to the anatgem, by the way, not just random rabbit trails.

Maybe I can find the literary equivalent of a Michael Bay movie… The most salient feature of the text to me turned out not to be the much discussed alternative language, but the fact that Stephenson has chosen to tell the story in the first person – which seemed to me to be a bit of a departure – and employs what struck me as a highly unreliable narrator. Readers are capable of absorbing information at a much stephebson rate than Stephenson presents it; a reader of Anathem anathen more in danger of being bored than being overwhelmed.

How valid is the multiverse theory?

Most of these discussions use fictional Arbran terminology, but treat ideas from actual science and philosophy. Anatyem all 17 comments. Stephenson also invented many words to express slightly unique concepts or to frame well known concepts in slightly different language. The first third or so of the book aka or so of its pages merely deals with the events that occur during strphenson surrounding Apert. I expect I shall read everything he cares to write. Retrieved from ” https: There’s a lot of talking, a lot of thinking, a lot of writing, and a lot of calculating going on stepgenson, quite honestly, I would have been content to have seen left off the page.


Any other worlds are purely contingent: 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.

In the realm of the avout

View all 16 comments. He blogs at Everything Is Niceand generally goes about his business. And also thus is it that what might seem to be very scientific people to us are actually considered blindly religious to the Arbreans, the so-called “number-worshippers” who idolize the specifics of math without understanding any of the underlying theories that make the equations work. Still, it feels like cheating.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

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 the use of tools or other outside technologies.

As a non native speaker I got to play the beloved ‘made up word or English word I do not yet know’ game. There are 1- and 1,year orders. There is a huge amount of scene-setting before finally, on page or so, we get introduced to something that, in some science fiction novels, would appear on page 1: Similarly, “Saunt” is a bit like saint but could be applied equally to Augustine or Einstein.

The Narrative immediately jumps back to the same accessway but this time Jad doesn’t guess the lock code, and instead the soldiers take them captive and bring them to parley with the leader of peaceful faction, where it emerges that the Millenarian avout of hundreds of years in the past may have used their “incanting” powers to summon the ship to their cosmos from another universe.


I suppose that’s what I like about this author – his main character is always a well-meaning, cheerful, intelligent, equanimous kind of person, surrounded by a great supportive cast.

I t feels appropriate that cosmology should form the underlying basis of Neal Stephenson’s vertiginous new novel. Why did this book make me angry? These scientists are kept separate from the rest of society, with no real possessions or technology to work with, only free to leave every ten years for ten days some sects can only leave once every or years.

But it does, and it’s funny as hell, too. Due to the restrictions, avout can only work on an entirely theoretical basis de jure.


Just as Dox is Spock, so Protas is Plato and Thelenes is Socratesand what follows is a rewriting of the allegory of the cave. 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 tendency 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.

Neal Stephenson might be determined to make his audience feel stupid, in the nicest possible way.

But at the same time. The main characters were like high school kids with consequent juvenile humour and emotion. Cover of the hardcover first edition, steephenson an analemma behind the author’s name. Anathem isn’t an easy book, and it’s not a quick read. In this section of the novel, it slowly becomes plain that Laterre is our own Earth, which serves as a ‘higher plane of existence’ for Urnud and Tro, and Arbre is itself a sephenson plane’ for Laterre.