Book Rec of the Week
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
“It’s a huge ambitious book of the kind that only science fiction can produce. It’s a whole world of funny words and nifty ideas to sink into. It is also unquestionably one of the most important books of the last ten years, one of the things that in twenty or thirty years we’ll look back on and say, “Yes, that’s what science fiction was up to in that non-decade that began the new millennium.” We won’t be saying this from our retreats in giant clock monasteries, but then nobody ever suggested we would.”
-Jo Walton, Tor.com
suggestion made by NaNoWriMo Coordinator Ari Reider
“One big reason I loved Anathem was for its worldbuilding, creating a fantasy-style world based on mathematical principles that was not only incredibly creative and unique, but also fleshed out and developed enough to be a believable and compelling world. The twists and turns that the story takes were also a huge draw to me. The book also raises a number of scientific and philosophical questions that I still think about more than ten years after reading it for the first time. The book is a little daunting in terms of length, but I remember it being very worth the read.”
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The original piece:
Poetry, a useless thing,
For those who cannot simply sing.
For if they could, t’would be a song,
Not just some rambling ten lines long.
Poets, always wasting time,
With stanzas, rhythm, verse, and rhyme,
Standing there, talking to beat,
As if it were some splendid feat.
Poems, wastes of paper are,
Are still so popular thus far,
Written down or read aloud
By those with too much time endowed.
Why are they so big, you ask?
How do poets in glory bask,
And go down in history?
To me, it is a mystery.
And the follow-up:
In retrospect, I must confess,
I owe most poets some redress.
In haste I spoke, so haste I require
To pull myself from this critical mire.
Poetry, it ain’t so bad,
So long as it is with meaning clad,
Or humor or something to pass the time
But it better have some kind of structure or rhyme.
So I take back the insult I made that day
(I hope that this keeps rabid poets at bay).
With a new title, though, it could really ring,
As “Free-verse Poetry, A Useless Thing”.