Anathem is set on a planet called Arbre, where the protagonist, Erasmas, is among a cohort of secluded scientists, philosophers and mathematicians who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe. Erasmas — Raz to his friends — has spent most of his life inside a 3,400-year-old sanctuary. The rest of society — the Sæcular world — is described as an "endless landscape of casinos and megastores that is plagued by recurring cycles of booms and busts, dark ages and renaissances, world wars and climate change." Their planet, Arbre, has a history and culture that is roughly analogous to Earth. Resident scholars, including Raz, are unexpectedly summoned by a frightened Sæcular power to leave their monastic stronghold in the hope that they may prevent an approaching catastrophe.
WWII, year 1943. The allies have already cracked all the Nazi codes. They know where the military convoys are going and where enemy submarines are hiding. But if British destroyers will start finding and sinking Nazi submarines every time without any problems, Germans will figure out that their codes have been broken and will change them. That's why it's necessary to fool the enemy. For that reason, the special British-American secret unit 2702 was created…
“The Bible” of cyberpunk (or cypherpunk? :) about the creation of the computer world. There is everything in it: love, war, betrayal, treasures on the bottom of the sea, and even exile from Eden…
From a recent (4/29/99) interview:
An exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic — a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain. .
Five thousand years later, their progeny — seven distinct races now three billion strong — embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown. . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.
For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center.
In this edgy, 21st century tale, Neal Stephenson, one of the most ambitious and prophetic writers of our time, returns to the terrain of his cyberpunk masterpieces and , leading readers through the looking glass and into the dark heart of imagination.