log(book)

Anathem

Cover of Anathem.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson kept me busy. Between a bunch of conferences, the sufficient concentration was a bit hard to come by. What’s worse: Now that I have read it, I can’t tell you if it is a good book or not.

… because I enjoyed it too much. This book hit my sweet nerd spots one after another. Advanced future? Monasteries? Weird science? Conservancy? Quantum states in brains? Spaaaaaace? Yes, please. For me, this book is just fantastic, and I’ll definitely return to it in the future. Plausible characters, fallible protagonist, and holy-shit-unpredictable plot. Wonderful worldbuilding, too. But, really, in many ways it’s the scifi version of The Name of the Rose (complete with author pretentiousness). I love both, regardless of their, ahem, more objective qualities.

An honorable mention goes to the presence of plenty of strong and cool women in a book where it would have been easy to sell an all-male cast.

But also, fair warning: Andrew Plotkin is not wrong when he says: “Stephenson has finally done it; he has invented an entire planetary institution of people who spend their lives giving each other lectures, in order to justify all the lectures he wanted to put in his book.”

Quotes

Boredom is a mask that frustration wears.

It happened all the time that the compromise between two perfectly rational alternatives was something that made no sense at all.

Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you. Or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.