Neal Stephenson
Anathem Cover



A first contact, coming of age, parallel worlds story and philosophical treatise all rolled into one. The voluminous alternate terms had me thinking this would be a chore, but 50 pages in (a mere 1/19th of the tome!) I was rolling with the flow.

Parts of the design I most liked: an isolated monk-like group consisting of both genders and studying math and science instead of religion. The discussions and then examples of living consciousness existing in many "narratives" simultaneously - with knowledge of and ability to change between them! Space travel and the rendezvous with an alien ship.

Yes, there are times when the author dialogues to tell the story, though the main character is a novice for most of the story. That small quibble aside, this is an excellent self-contained work. I look forward to tackling Seveneves and the Baroque Cycle soon.