Anathem is Neal Stephenson’s latest novel. After having toiled at The Baroque Cycle last year, Stephenson is back with a speculative fiction book. Although we can’t really say that this is a science-fiction book, it still uses elements of that genre.
Unlike The Baroque Cycle, which is composed of three separate books, Anathem is a standalone 928-page volume. Stephenson created a distinct vocabulary for this book. This makes things more challenging for the usual reader, since it forces you to check up the glossary. After a few chapters, this is no problem. Stephenson’s genre and writing is quite immersive, so I really got into the book. It took me two days to finish it.
I found the Anathem wiki very useful after having read the book. I wouldn’t recommend reading the wiki before having completed your first reading of Anathem. Spoilers are all over it and without knowing, you’ll spoil your fun.
While I await to purchase The Last Colony next week, as well as, hopefully, Metal Swarm from Kevin J. Anderson, The Prefect and House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds and the last Dune book, which I haven’t yet read. I’m anxiously awaiting Anathem from Neal Stephenson.
What made me read Scalzi? I’ve been reading his blog for about 5 months. That in itself isn’t really what made me decide to start reading his work. It’s actually because I saw the Tor.com had Old Man’s War out for free as an ebook. It’s no longer available, but I was curious.
His writing is peculiar. Like I mentioned before, there is a sardonic wit present in his stories, which is mostly absent from the more hard hitting science-fiction. Just think about the premise of Android’s Dream. A trade negotiator kills his alien rival during a set of talks by farting him to death thanks to a stick up his ass.