Monday, November 27, 2023

Neal Stephenson's novel "Anathem" is a thrilling, pulpy page turner

A 2008 novel with a cover, description, and first few 100 pages seemingly designed to discourage most people, even his fans, from reading it. It seems like it's going to be hundreds of pages of monks debating string theory and other concepts in excruciatingly dull detail. 

But I recently reread it, found it thrilling, and flew through the 1,000 pages. Yes, the monks debate string theory and other concepts in excruciating detail. But they do so while having one thrilling adventure after another, culminating in....

Spoilers for a novel that came out in 2008 below: 

The learned monks use cobbled together technology to lead a small team, including monks that have dedicated themselves to martial arts, in storming a giant spaceship from an alternate dimension Earth. 

Read this page from very late in the book and tell me you don't want to see how they got there, and what happens next:

It's available at Amazon.

Finally, here's a logo that would feel at home in the book: