Neal Stephenson has a new book to be released Sept 3 2008 (pre-order on Amazon).
Wired.com writes about Stephenson’s motivations and where the ideas came from for this 960 page novel.
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. Freed from the pressures of pedestrian life, the avaunt view time differently. Their society—the “mathic” world—is clustered in walled-off areas known as concents built around giant clocks designed to last for centuries. The avaunt are separated into four groups, distinguished by the amount of time they are isolated from the outside world and each other. Unarians stay inside the wall for a year. Decenarians can venture outside only once a decade. Centenarians are locked in for a hundred years, and Millennarians—long-lifespanners who are endowed with Yoda-esque wisdom—emerge only in years ending in triple zeros. Stephenson centers his narrative around a crisis that jars this system—a crisis that allows him to introduce action scenes worthy of Buck Rogers and even a bit of martial arts. It’s a rather complicated setup; fortunately, there’s a detailed timeline and 20-page glossary to help the reader decode things.
Here’s a sampling of folks Patrick and I came across at the Star Trek Convention in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I’ll get everything posted to Flickr ‘real soon now’.
Among my favorites were Michelle and Francine as the Starfleet Cheerleaders (now that is original!), the blue bunny science office (bottom right), and Holly from Chickfights.tv (bottom left). Standing next to Holly is Dataest (warning, links to Myspace).
More photos coming…
Come on, give it up for more ghetto paint skills!
Seriously though, this is the best news item to come across my RSS feed all day. Remember the due in Denver that claimed he had footage of an alien peeking through a window getting ready to abduct folks from their house?
His name is Jeff Peckman and now that the Democratic convention is occurring in his home town of Denver this week, he wants a sit down with prospective president Barrack Obama to give him an Extraterrestrial briefing.
Here’s the press release (pdf). For more info, go to the Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission web site run by Mr. Peckman.
From the press release:
In a televised primary debate last October, Sen. Obama was asked if he agreed that “there is life beyond Earth”. Obama replied, “…I don’t know and I don’t presume to know”. Peckman said, “Obama needs to know because in a recent AOL News poll, out of more than 135,000 online voters, 93% believed life exists elsewhere in the universe and 81% believed Extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth. Scientific polls on the same questions have shown similar results, and also that the vast majority of Americans believe the government is not telling the truth about the UFO/ET issue”.
Poor Superman. His last movie was a disappointment and now his DC Comics stablemate Batman is getting all the box office glory.
But Warner Bros. has a plan according to Wall Street Journal.
See also Entertainment Weekly for details as well.