Stephenson, Neal -- Anathem

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. I enjoyed this, after being utterly bored by Quicksilver, after enjoying Cryptonomicon. I think it's purely a question of the subject matter. The storyline in Anathem is better-constructed than usual, with a genuine no-shit-there-it-is ending. On the other hand, the SF gimmicks were all utterly unconvincing to me, from the alt-matter oxygen that was only "sort of" breathable to the quantum-consciousness theories (I hate them, every one). Overall, fun, but it was aiming for "awesome" and missed by miles.

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