Anathem Plot Update

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Lev Grossman, geek blogger for Time magazine, reports on the plot of Neal Stephenson's new novel, Anathem:
Since childhood, Raz has lived behind the walls of a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians—sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, unpredictable "saecular" world that is plagued by recurring cycles of booms and busts, world wars and climate change. Until the day that a higher power, driven by fear, decides that only these cloistered scholars have the abilities to avert an impending catastrophe. And, one by one, Raz and his cohorts are summoned forth without warning into the Unknown.
Interesting. No mention of other planets or aliens (as originally rumored, though the above doesn't rule that out either), but a promising plot, I guess. [via io9]