Details about Neal Stephenson’s next novel, Anathem, have been leaking out lately and the novel’s looking better and better all the time. The US and UK cover art have been released, as well as a cursory blurb on

US Cover:

The US cover art for Neal Stephenson's Anathem

UK Cover:

The UK cover art for Neal Stephenson's Anathem

This is one of those rare instances when I can’t decide which cover I like better! They’re both gorgeous and hopefully that holds true for the novel as well. Details on the plot are sparse, but Amazon does have this little synopsis, which sounds promising:

Here is another brilliantly original novel from the cult author of “Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon”.Since childhood, Raz has lived behind the walls of a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians. There, he and his cohorts are sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, unpredictable “saecular” world, 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. Until the day that a higher power, driven by fear, decides it is only these cloistered scholars who have the abilities to avert an impending catastrophe. And, one by one, Raz and his friends, mentors, and teachers are summoned forth without warning into the unknown.

Stephenson is the acclaimed author of The Baroque Cycle, Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash, among other works. Anathem is set to be published in September, 2008.

  • Matt May 27, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve become a huge Stephenson fan after reading Snow Crash and Quicksilver. I’m reading The Confusion right now and really looking forward to this new one. I’ll probably be buying it as soon as it becomes available.

  • Jim C. May 28, 2008 at 6:58 am

    I haven’t made it all the way through The Baroque Cycle yet, but Cryptonomicon is viciously good; I’d put it in the top ten books — of any genre — of the last fifty years, no question. Can’t wait for this one.

    Is the little figure-8 of lights on the American edition supposed to represent the Newtonian solar calendar? It reminds me of the way he described it in Quicksilver.

  • aidan May 28, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I’ve heard a few theories about the covers, someone on the Terry Brooks forum was wondering whether the time on the clock, 9:37 or so, had any relevance to the story.

    I think it’s clear from the similarities between the two covers (gothic architecture, monks, arches, etc…) that the elements of the art are important to the story.

    It’ll be interesting to find out when the novel’s released!

  • Li May 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    The covers look fantastic! I think I like the UK cover just a wee bit better because it looks so eerie and intriguing all at the same time. I’ve never read any of Neal Stephenson’s books but the premise for this one sounds very interesting. *nods*