Questions tagged [anathem]

Anathem is a speculative fiction novel by Neal Stephenson that explores a number of philosophical and scientific themes, including parallel realities, alternative social structures and social change over millennia.

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How did the generation ship in Anathem actually make its journey?

In the novel Anathem by Neal Stephenson a spaceship appears in orbit around the protagonists planet. The character of Orolo observed it for a while and explains that he believes that the ship is not ...
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How did the aliens keep their waters separated?

In Anathem, I recall that the alien spacecraft was partitioned in such a way that the various incompatible variants of matter from the different worldlines was kept separated. I think this even ...
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Why did Erasmas' chant cause a commotion?

A few days after his arrival to Tredegarth, Erasmas is summoned along with other newcomers for Inbrase, and is expected to perform a chant. I was expecting a follow-up on why the chant that he ...
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Did Fraa Lodoghir really believe the Plurality of Worlds Messal was the “arse-end of the mathic world”?

The Plurality of Worlds Messal turns out to be plenty influential in the Convox. It's got six Edharians, who are the stars of the Convox, and one of whom is a Millenarian, its got the top Procian of ...
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How to find the missing appendices from the Anathem audiobook?

I've listened to Anathem by Neal Stephenson on Audible AudioBook. While browsing in my local bookshop the other day I picked up a copy of the book and had a flick through. It turns out that there are ...
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Can you find or draw a diagram of the Icosahedron orb stack from Anathem by Neal Stephenson?

I'm having a hard time visualising some of it.
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Anathem: Radiation poisoning

Given than the Millenarian math of Saunt Edhar stores a large amount of nuclear waste, one would expect all Millenarians to have died out long ago from radiation poisoning or radiation-induced cancer, ...
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Anathem and Bread-Making

Mild spoilers for Neal Stephenson's Anathem:
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When did the Millenarian's incantations start [spoilers]?

Massive Spoiler Warning: The question discusses events very near the end of Neal Stephenson's Anathem. When Cell 317 was up in space floating with the Cold Black Mirror, several members discussed ...
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Anathem: description of Slines

This question arises from the fact that I have listened to the audiobook for Anathem, and thus, have not read the text. Near the end of Apert during the chapter "Plane" Erasmas describes the fashion ...
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In Neal Stephenson's “Anathem,” is Cnoüs' statue a reference to Freemasonry?

In Part 2 ("Apert") of Anathem, Erasmas was guiding a tour and was explaining the story of a statue of Cnoüs: "The central sculpture was more than six thousand years old; it had been a world-...
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What is the purpose/rules of the Day Gate in Anathem?

In Neal Stephenson's Anathem, the gates of Unarian, Decenarian, Centenarian and Millenarian maths open once a year, decade, century and millennium respectively. But what is the Day Gate for? Clearly, ...
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What are “spheres” in Neal Stephenson's “Anathem?”

In "Anathem," the avout (fraa and suur) used "spheres" to do various things. The spheres wered used as a tool to make life comfortable in most cases, but what are they exactly? How should I ...
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Difference between Anathem and Voco

I'm about 1/3 of the way through Neal Stephenson's 'Anathem' and so far, I've been able to follow most of his terminology, but one thing sticks out in my mind. Spoiler'ed for those who haven't read ...
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Which of the three endings to Stephenson's “Anathem” is “definitive”?

Near the end of Anathem, the story posits three different "world lines": Jad and Erasmus arrive on the bridge of the invading ship; Erasmus (and, presumably, Jad) die when Jad triggers the "...