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Sci-Fi Entertainment

"Anathem" Exclusive Video At MySpace 57

Shawn M. Smith writes "We've recently discussed Neal Stephenson's imminent new novel 'Anathem.' Now, MySpace has an exclusive video, The World of Anathem, that accompanies the book, filled with the 'Gregorian chants' and ambient noise that were so eloquently described by numerous Slashdotters who had scored advance copies of Stephenson's latest tome."
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"Anathem" Exclusive Video At MySpace

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  • Last! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is the end, no more posts!
  • Neal Stephenson's books have always been very compelling to me. This one looks to be astonishing. And actually, I think it is the first time that I have ever seen a video introduce a book. It actually makes me want to read it all that much more and wonder if they will actually make a movie of this.
  • Math music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by F34nor ( 321515 ) * on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:25AM (#24855565)

    One description of the chants is that they are based on mathematics. If this is interesting to you, you might want to check out a band call Slint. They tried to create a kind of fractal timing where different threads would converge and digress over time. Dark intense and interesting music.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LS ( 57954 )

      I like Slint and have their album Spiderland, and they supposedly started the style of music called "math rock", but I fail to find the patterns that you and others speak of in their music. Is there someone out there that has done a breakdown analysis of the music to clearly demonstrate these patterns? I think all it is is just good rock music.

      All music is mathematical, and many types of music, especially classical, have all kinds of threads going all over the place that eventually converge. What is so

      • I think F34nor's description is a little on the lyrical side. The music isn't quite fractal, but it definitely jumps around between time signatures a fair bit. If you like Slint, you may want to check out some stuff by Breadwinner [] or Rodan [] too.
  • Err (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:46AM (#24855653) Homepage Journal

    Is this a parody? Or...? I can't imagine N. Stephenson signing off on this. I'm not a big fan of reading a synopsis ahead of time; if I hear good things about it I'll buy it and read it. The jocks in football jerseys sort of ruined any idea of the book being good. Or is this written in the tongue-in-cheek style of Snow Crash?

    • Re:Err (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Crudely_Indecent ( 739699 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:08AM (#24855777) Journal

      Right on, I didn't want to be the first person to say this video sucked. I kept turning the volume up thinking that bad sound levels were preventing me from hearing dialog. The only way it could've been more lame is if it was posted on MySpace.

      Oh, wait...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kochsr ( 144988 ) *

        yeah this was pretty bad. i imagine pretty much any video interpretation of his fiction is going to be terrible because his stuff is pretty far out there, and you would need a high budget to make half of the stuff actually look believable.

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        You should have seen the original "OMG, ponies!" version.
    • Re:Err (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TimeZone ( 658837 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @11:43AM (#24860107)
      The jocks in football jerseys are the "extramuros", the people who live outside the mathic concents. Most of the extras have nothing against the avout, but some (those in the video) do not trust the avout and become violent. The extramuros culture in Anathem is pretty reminiscent of the culture described in Snow Crash (consumerism run amok). For the record, there are not many fight scenes in the book, so I don't know why the video was so heavy on the kung-fu. If you enjoyed Snow Crash and / or Cryptonomicon and enjoy math-based humour (xkcd anyone?), then I'd highly recommend Anathem. I read an advance copy a while ago, then sent it on to a friend of mine who also enjoyed it.

      As for the video, it really only makes sense if you've already read the book, so it's not particularly successful IMO.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That video, at least what I saw of it, was horrendous. By the time I saw the guys in the football jerseys, I had had enough. At that point I closed the page about as quickly as I could because I didn't want that video negatively affecting my reading of the book.

      That was my first, and likely last, time ever going to a MySpace page. It lasted all of probably 50 seconds, quite sufficient for this lifetime.

  • by Immortal Poet ( 1048010 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:01AM (#24855735)
    I'm glad that Stephenson finally figured out that it wasn't postcyberpunk or historic fiction that was his genre - it was battle monk epic.
    • I'm glad that Stephenson finally figured out that it wasn't postcyberpunk or historic fiction that was his genre - it was battle monk epic.

      How I wish.
      From that video preview, it looks like the space men are going to be bringing laser guns.
      And you know the old saying about bring a bat'leth to a phaser fight.

      • by lennier ( 44736 )

        "And you know the old saying about bring a bat'leth to a phaser fight."

        "It's hard to pull a trigger when your severed arm's on the other side of the holodeck?"

        Or was it "big bat'leth, big... shoes?"

  • Video (Score:3, Funny)

    by I don't want to spen ( 638810 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:14AM (#24855805) Journal
    I like his writing, but the video is more of an anathema.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      No kidding. They don't give sci-fi authors much budget or something..even at big publishing houses? I suddenly feel better about the one I did [] (almost) all by myself for my book on almost zero budget. Then again maybe Neal filmed this himself as well ;-)
  • Myspace? Really? That's what Stephenson thinks is the closest thing we have to the Metaverse? This must be the idea of some tool at the publishing company, this can't be Neal's ... can it?

    Oh, and hat video was so bad I think it gave me cancer. Super let down from the Snow Crash Universe with cars with enough potential energy to put a pound of bacon in the asteroid belt and side-car nukes and dual samurai swords and dentanas...
  • by VirexEye ( 572399 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:37AM (#24855881) Homepage
    ...they just watched a bad college film project?
  • How do you get an advance copy of Anathem? Amazon just pushed back delivery on my pre-ordered copy, and without the book, it's hard to see how this audio stuff fits in.
  • by Sits ( 117492 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @04:23AM (#24856083) Homepage Journal

    A rash of "quotes" broke out of locked compound today and have been rampaging across various websites. Many feared that "The quotes" (as the gang was known inside) would seek to liberate their brethren leading to misattribution and thus striking a blow against punctuation.

    "The quotes" have now been sighted on several Slashdot stories with many wondering if there is a pattern to their current appearances. Police say that "even 'single quote' should not be approached lightly as other gang members may be close by".

  • I can't help but feel that a trailer beginning with the phrase "In an world..." is particularly poignant today, given that the real 'In a world' voiceover guy, Don LaFontaine, just passed away. Not the same without those gravelly, dulcet tones.
    • It is kind of sad. He was one of those recognizable voices that seemed to be beyond an actual human.

  • in that video. Especially considering that there are only like 2 or 3 fight scenes in the whole book. The video also managed to avoid mentioning math, which is weird. The "monks" in the video are "math monks", not "kung-fu monks" (although there are some people in the book that are both). The scene at the beginning with Erasmus and Ala is pretty cool though. anyways, the book is awesome.


    • The scene at the beginning with Erasmus and Ala is pretty cool though. anyways, the book is awesome.

      Wait. So what I'm getting here is that the video is much cooler if I've already read the book and understand what it is the video is about?

      • I would say, yes. Soooo, not a particularly successful video. Really what I was getting at.
  • None of that was Gregorian chanting. Does anyone know of a dojo where I can learn that robe-fighting technique?
    • None of that was Gregorian chanting.

      No, the soundtrack that accompanies the advance copies has the chanting, this is some crazy mouth harp stuff. My bad if that was misleading.

  • There are no gregorian chants in the video. The author's name is Stephenson, not Stevenson; and eloquence is generally not an attribute one assigns to slashdotters! (I jest...)

    That video was terrible. Someone above mentioned a college video project, high school seems to be a more appropriate designation.

    At least there's one good omen this year, which is that the book comes out on my birthday.
  • "Avout" and "Saecular"?

    I shut the video off right there. We need better writers than that.
  • i read the first few chapters and lost interest. When does the story start?

    • With Stephenson, usually the story starts 2/3 in...

      He is more obsessed with describing the setting and world that in a particular story. He's not particularly good with the whole character thing, either. ...or perhaps the story is buried in the setting. There are hints of James Burke Connections kinds of things going on in some of his stuff. (Especially in Cryptonomicon.)

      I adore his stuff. I've had the book on preorder for months. That video is making me regret my choice...

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson