Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Two views ...

... Neal Stephenson's Anathem: Internet-Free And Glad of It. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

... and here's Glenn Reynolds's review: THE GEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.

... and another.


  1. Ah, I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers

    Talk fabulous atrocities (including my bass-ackwards John-Deere Cap, sans plastic, too, I guess):

    Of the three items Frank cites, none mentions the work's indebtedness (or so it would seem to me) to Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959). S'pose it's not the world-changing top-of-the-line divine sci-fi work I remember it to be, sadly.

    I've not read Mr. Stephenson's book; but, judging from what I have read in the above-mentioned trio, it seems (or feels?), to me, to owe some kind of debt to ACfL; but, I might be wrong. Still, the three parts, the futuristic setting, the apocalyptic overtones, the "eschewing" of a type of technology (pardoning punishment) . . .

    Well, I shall never forget "Fiat Homo" / "Fiat Lux" / "Fiat Voluntas Tua" . . .

    Non cogitamus, ergo nihil sum . . . :(

    — Geezer Geekette

  2. The Publishers Weekly reviewer mentions an echo:

    "Stephenson's expansive storytelling echoes Walter Miller's classic A Canticle for Leibowitz, the space operas of Larry Niven and the cultural meditations Douglas Hofstadter . . . ."

  3. Thank goodness and greatness, both; I know I mixed up the three sections; but, I just attributed that to losing my religion, er, memoria technica.

    Notice Anathem didn't receive a PW star, though; so, doubt it will snag the Hugo (the way ACfL did, IIRC :)).

    Thanks, Dave, you youthed me mightily; and, even though it's nigh-near Autumn, I do have a little spring-sproing in my step left (the one-two soft-shoe I can still do, that is) . . .



    Erm, the carpenter's raising high the roof beam and looking at me kinda funny-like is why . . .

    Ready . . . aim . . . duck!
    p.s. Frank, I put a little Newsplash on the ol' portal page for us

    — Spring Chicken

  4. From an L.A. Times interview:

    'S.T.: What about Walter Miller Jr.'s "A Canticle for Leibowitz," which has a post-apocalyptic monastery setting? Did that have an influence on your new novel?
    Neal Stephenson: It's a different premise from "Anathem" in a lot of ways. When people hear about monks in S.F., that's the one they think of, and rightly so. But when you look at it from the geek's point of view, there have been zillions of science-fiction books over the years with monks in them.'

  5. Coolness, DL. I R Impressed.

    Wonderful appetiser to what looks to be a magnificent main course. I like this guy more and more; now, I want to read the book, given his self-deprecation in the following comment:

    "As a kid reading science fiction, I was always fascinated with parallel universe situations: situations where someone gets jumped into another universe that's similar to ours, with a hand-wavy, pseudo-physics explanation for how it happened. I wanted to come up with my own hand-wavy, pseudo-physics explanation."