Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.
Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside "saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.
Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent's gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected." But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.
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. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - drardavis - LibraryThing
For a retired mathematics and computer science professor this book was a perfect fit. I seek out references to mathematics in sci-fi, but this time I was immersed in a tale whose heroes and heroines ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DLMorrese - LibraryThing
This is an odd novel and one that's difficult to review or assign a star rating. I settled on 3 because it some ways it warrants a 1 and in others it deserves a 5. Anathem is a first person account of ... Read full review
part 3 Eliger
part 4 Anathem
part 5 Voco
part 6 Peregrin
part 7 Feral
part 8 Orithena
part 9 Inbrase
part 11 Advent
part 12 Requiem
part 13 Reconstitution
Cutting the Cake
Hemn Configuration Space
Complex Versus Simple Protism
part 10 Messal