August 24th, 2008

<klaxon noise!> There’s a new Neil Stephenson novel out next month: Anathem. Wired has a slightly too long feature. Snip:

Set on a planet called Arbe (pronounced “arb”), Anathem documents a civilization split between two cultures: an indulgent Saecular general population (hooked on casinos, shopping in megastores, trashing the environment—sound familiar?) and the super-educated cohort known as the avaunt, or “auts,” who live a monastic existence defined by intellectual activity and circumscribed rituals.

I’ll definitely be reading it, but I can’t help wondering if he’s stepping rather too firmly on Iain M Banks’ toes with this kind of plot line. All sounds a bit Against a dark background to me. And I can probably do without the rather obvious sci-fi as commentary on modern life that seems to be going on. Still, we will see.

Out September 1st.

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