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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SPOTLIGHT" Anathem" by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s newest book, “Anathem”, is set to drop on September 9, 2008. In promotion of “Anathem’s” upcoming release, Fantasy Book Critic is hosting a giveaway HERE, and readers can expect a review of the novel shortly. But in the meantime, I’ve compiled below a variety of Neal Stephenson/Anathem related information including a special launch event, tour dates, an excerpt, a glossary, videos and more, so enjoy!

About Anathem:

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…

Links, Excerpt, Podcast, etc:

Official Neal Stephenson Website
Order “Anathem
HERE (Harpercollins)
Booklist, The Collection Chamber, Threat Quality Press + Torque Control
Watch Amazon Exclusive: An Introduction to “Anathem”
Watch Amazon Exclusive: Neal Stephenson Reading from “Anathem”
Read An Eleven-Page Excerpt from”Anathem” (PDF)
Read the “Anathem” Abridged Glossary
Listen to
Neal Stephenson being interviewed about the book and what “Anathem” means at the 2008 BookExpo. Podcast below:

“Anathem” Launch Event:

On Tuesday, September 9, 2008,
The Long Now Foundation—whose 10,000 Year Clock project inspired Neal Stephenson's new work—is presenting a singular event for the launch of “Anathem”. The evening will include Mr. Stephenson reading from his new book, a special live musical performance of math-based chanting created for “Anathem” by composer David Stutz, conversations with Stewart Brand and Danny Hillis (founders of The Long Now Foundation), a demonstration of shovel-fu, a book signing, reception and a chance to celebrate this new work in the Gothic splendor of The Regency. Where, When and Ticket Information below:

The Regency
1320 Van Ness @ Sutter
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tuesday, September 9, 2008 from 6:30pm to 11:00pm

Tickets are $10 for the event only, or $42.50 for the event and a SIGNED copy of Anathem ($10 ticket and $32.50 book, includes tax—only pre-ordered books are guaranteed to be signed).

Members of
The Long Now Foundation receive a complimentary ticket with RSVP, and can choose to pre-order a SIGNED copy of Anathem for $32.50 when they RSVP. Additional copies of the book will also be for sale at the event, but only pre-ordered books are guaranteed to be signed. Tickets and Member RSVP are available through Brown Paper Tickets. For those unable to attend the event, The Long Now Foundation will also be doing a live stream of the event through at 7:00pm PST on 9/9/08.

The concept behind “Anathem” germinated in 01999* when
Danny Hillis asked Neal Stephenson and several other contributors to sketch out their ideas of what Long Now's 10,000 Year Clock might look like. Stephenson tossed off a quick sketch and promptly forgot about it. Five years later, however, when he was between projects, the idea came back to him and he began to explore the possibility of building a novel around it—“Anathem” is the result.

“It is a great story, set in an alternative reality where people take long-term thinking seriously.” —
Danny Hillis

Long Now's 10,000-year clock inspired Neal Stephenson's new story, Anathem, and now Anathem is inspiring the Long Now. In ten centuries, no one will be sure which came first.” —Kevin Kelly

Additional information on
The Long Now Foundation, Neal Stephenson and Anathem can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

The Long Now Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 01996* to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years. *The Long Now Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.

Neal Stephenson Tour Dates:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
07:30 PM

2476 Telegraph AVE Berkeley, CA 94704

Thursday, September 11, 2008
07:00 PM

400 Post St San Francisco, CA 94102

Friday, September 12, 2008
07:30 PM

STE 200 1010 El Camino Menlo Park, CA 94025

Sunday, September 14, 2008
05:30 PM

17171 Bothell Way N.E. Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Monday, September 15, 2008
07:00 PM

1415 NE 43rd Street at University Temple United Methodist Church Seattle, WA 98105

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
07:00 PM

Baghdad Theater 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214

Thursday, September 18, 2008
07:00 PM

BARNES & NOBLE/Union Square
33 E 17th ST New York, NY 10003

Saturday, September 20, 2008
07:00 PM

First Parish Church 3 Church ST Cambridge, MA 02138

Monday, September 22, 2008
06:00 PM

5757 S. University AVE Chicago, IL 60637

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
07:30 PM

2513 Jackson Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
07:00 PM

1982 Grand River Avenue Okemos, MI 48864

Thursday, September 25, 2008
07:00 PM

603 N Lamar Austin, TX 78704

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
07:30 PM

1628 16th St. Denver, CO 80202

Wednesday, October 01, 2008
07:30 PM

1107 Pearl ST Boulder, CO 80302


Ben said...

I'm looking forward to this book a lot.

Why doesn't anyone tour on the east coast (this has been discussed elsewhere but drives me crazy))!?!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure about the tour dates. Maybe it has to do with location--Neal lives in Seattle--although I'm sure several other factors are involved like time, budget, etc...

Mercurius Aulicus said...

In case your interested: Unshelved Comic strip has one on Anathem at

Unknown said...

Thanks for the linkage Mild Colonial Boy :)


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