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Old 09-11-2008, 02:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AshW View Post
Really looking forward to this. I totally get what Liviu_5 is talking about. The Baroque Cycle had pretty much the same effect on me as this book seems to have had on you. It totally pressed all of my buttons and felt like the series had been written for me personally!
I liked The Baroque Cycle a lot too. I bought the books when appeared in (1,2 in hc, 3 in mmpb) but started on them earlier this year, read Quicksilver liked it a lot, then other books appeared, so I read The Confusion - which I enjoyed the most of the 3 - and System of the World after Anathem, and then to top it off Cryptonomicon after that - another book I bought a while ago but have not read yet.

Anathem is much smoother than the Baroque Cycle, and having one narrator keeps the flow going. On the other hand The Baroque Cycle was a decades spanning epic with a huge cast of characters, while Anathem is more of an adventure, partly philosophical and scientific but with atomic bombs and martial arts too

And it's funny too - though Mr. Stephenson worships the printed book - he even has (gen. engineer.) paper trees that grow leaves which the avout harvest to write on, while he shows his disdain for mobile communicators, especially cell phones/internet tablets plainly - his Arbre incarnation of such, "the jeejah" is one of the "villains" of the story


- Arsibalt - before Reconstitution they were coming at the limits of particle accelerators at least those requiring reasonable amounts of money so they were moving towards Cosmography
- Raz - I thought in the Saecular world there is an infinite amount of money
-Arsibalt- There might be, but most of it goes on pornography, sugar water and bombs ...

- Orolo - When you say you worry about everything, what about nerve gas farting pink dragons
- Raz - nerve gas farting pink dragons do not exist
-Orolo - well then, nerve gas farting blue dragons...
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:04 PM   #17
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My only concern is the following:

I've never read Neal Stephenson (shame on me), but what I've heard about him always made me intrigueded, and I would like to start reading his work picking up Anathem. However, there's something I can't really figure out from many people's opinions. Is the author overly descriptive? Are his works... bloated?

When you talk about a steep curve, do you mean complexity of the theme, or is it because the author makes long, boring infodumps?

I've always liked long books, and science is my field. The only thing I don't like is when an author uses 3 pages to say what could be written in one setence (like that author Ricardo Pinto, who could use 3 pages to describe a backyard and another 5 describing the garden and another 10 to describe a house... all that in the middle of a police chase) (i'm inventing that, it's just to show you my point ).
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:00 PM   #18
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My only concern is the following:

I've never read Neal Stephenson (shame on me), but what I've heard about him always made me intrigueded, and I would like to start reading his work picking up Anathem. However, there's something I can't really figure out from many people's opinions. Is the author overly descriptive? Are his works... bloated?

When you talk about a steep curve, do you mean complexity of the theme, or is it because the author makes long, boring infodumps?
The steep curve is more about figuring what's what on Arbre than infodump per se. There are a lot of new terms - Mr. Stephenson preferred analogy is with Dune's lexicon - and the essential difference between Arbre and Earth is that the "intellectuals/theoreticians" are the avout, while the politicians, business people, lawyers, physicians, engineers, IT guys and such are the saecular people and of course the rednecks - slines - are too part of the saecular.

Of course the saeculars that go in business, politics, trades like engineering, medicine, law spend years as unarian avouts which is sort like going to college/grad school except that you stay inside for the whole year with only ten days Apert to visit home, without computers, TV, cellphones - but with sex and alcohol so that's not so bad after all .

And for example the 6 main young avout characters, "fids", 4 boys and 2 girls, Raz - narrator, Jesry, Lio, Arsibalt, Tulia and Ala reflect that diversity, with Raz and Lio coming from "sline" background, Jesry from rich business upper class, Arsibalt from religious upper class, while Tulia was a newborn foundling. And as expected Jesry is the handsome, smart, smooth boy, Arisbalt the fat nerdy one, Lio the tough karate kid, while Raz the more naive but intrepid and lucky narrator, with Tulia the smartest of all and Ala the bossy, leader girl.

Similarly in the extramuros/saecular world we have Cord the cool, tough girl that's Raz sister and an artisan - mechanic/engineer - that made her way out of her sline/trailer/redneck background and then several other characters of diverse background from religious types to redneck wilderness guide to ultra-rich old money - but those appear later and I do not want to spoil the book...

The official site - link below - has a lot of stuff including the trailer which is superb, and stuff from the book but only the timeline and dictionary, no proper excerpt.

As a bonus Cryptonomicon is available to be read for free online though not downloadble.

http://nealstephenson.com/anathem/
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #19
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Ok, I just bought it and downloaded it to my Sony PRS-505.

I'm not new to Stephenson's work, but I want to finish the Proust volume I just purchased a few days ago.

Great information, Liviu_5. Thank you.


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Old 09-12-2008, 02:21 AM   #20
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I was really excited about this, and haven't been dissapointed so far.

The jargon was a pain on an ebook, though. On my Kindle I set up a lot of bookmarks to quickly look things up..

That got irritating. Hypothetically, one might strip the DRM and convert it to a MOBI file, then take out the glossary and put it into a printable format and then print it out on paper. Then go about reading the book.

About 11 pages, double columned, I'd imagine.

Yep. Good idea, I think.... heh.

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Old 09-12-2008, 04:38 AM   #21
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I absolutely loved Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Zodiac,... but after that?

I just have to admit I am not partial to books over 500 pages long. Very few exceptions.

I also have to admit I am not partial to movies over 2 1/2 hours long.

Additionally, I don't cotton to posts over 6 sentences long.

That must explain my love for Haiku.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:01 AM   #22
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:18 AM   #23
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I love Neal Stephenson and was lucky enough to catch the fictionwise deal on this one. I have a few things on my TBR before I get to it, though... And yes, as Gary says above, they are not to be read in the bath unless you're very good at holding your breath...
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Liviu_5 View Post
I liked The Baroque Cycle a lot too. I bought the books when appeared in (1,2 in hc, 3 in mmpb) but started on them earlier this year, read Quicksilver liked it a lot, then other books appeared, so I read The Confusion - which I enjoyed the most of the 3 - and System of the World after Anathem, and then to top it off Cryptonomicon after that - another book I bought a while ago but have not read yet.

Anathem is much smoother than the Baroque Cycle, and having one narrator keeps the flow going. On the other hand The Baroque Cycle was a decades spanning epic with a huge cast of characters, while Anathem is more of an adventure, partly philosophical and scientific but with atomic bombs and martial arts too

And it's funny too - though Mr. Stephenson worships the printed book - he even has (gen. engineer.) paper trees that grow leaves which the avout harvest to write on, while he shows his disdain for mobile communicators, especially cell phones/internet tablets plainly - his Arbre incarnation of such, "the jeejah" is one of the "villains" of the story


- Arsibalt - before Reconstitution they were coming at the limits of particle accelerators at least those requiring reasonable amounts of money so they were moving towards Cosmography
- Raz - I thought in the Saecular world there is an infinite amount of money
-Arsibalt- There might be, but most of it goes on pornography, sugar water and bombs ...

- Orolo - When you say you worry about everything, what about nerve gas farting pink dragons
- Raz - nerve gas farting pink dragons do not exist
-Orolo - well then, nerve gas farting blue dragons...

Thank you for your input, Liviu_5. I've also checked out your article in the fantasybook critic blog.
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:16 PM   #25
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Thank you for your input, Liviu_5. I've also checked out your article in the fantasybook critic blog.
You are welcome I really love this book, so I may get overenthusiastic
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:56 PM   #26
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If I wanted to get this from Fictionwise for reading on a PRS-500, what format should I choose? Mobipocket, MS Reader, or Secure eReader? Just wondering what the easiest to convert will be.

If this is a bad question to ask here (because of DRM removal issues), please disregard.

Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #27
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MS Reader is usually the easiest to convert, but you need to use Windows and IE to download (can be an issue for some).
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:17 AM   #28
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If I wanted to get this from Fictionwise for reading on a PRS-500, what format should I choose? Mobipocket, MS Reader, or Secure eReader? Just wondering what the easiest to convert will be.

If this is a bad question to ask here (because of DRM removal issues), please disregard.

Thanks!
As a linux user, I found mobidedrm to be the way to go. I don't think the site rules would allow me to explain how, though, but a google search should help.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #29
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Quote:
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I absolutely loved Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Zodiac,... but after that?

I just have to admit I am not partial to books over 500 pages long. Very few exceptions.

I also have to admit I am not partial to movies over 2 1/2 hours long.

Additionally, I don't cotton to posts over 6 sentences long.

That must explain my love for Haiku.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:30 PM   #30
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I've heard of Stephenson, though never read anything, but when I learned about Anathem a couple months ago, I got really intrigued. I bought it last weekend and started reading it last night (after some *ahem* format shifting )

I only got well into the glossary, which I had decided to read first. Now I think I should print it out before I continue. That's the bad things about an e-reader; slower and more "difficult" to look up things in a glossary.

I'm fascinated by language, and I'm very intrigued by the subtle way Stephenson has manipulated English into "Arbre" words - words that are almost but not quite an English word, and often also holds secondary meanings. I love that
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