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Atmosphaera Incognita
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Atmosphaera Incognita

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Author: Neal Stephenson
Publisher: Subterranean Press, 2019
Original English publication, 2013
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Book Type: Novelette
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

Atmosphæra Incognita is a beautifully detailed, high-tech rendering of a tale as old as the Biblical Tower of Babel. It is an account, scrupulously imagined, of the years-long construction of a twenty-kilometer-high tower that will bring the human enterprise, in all its complexity, to the threshold of outer space. It is a story of persistence, of visionary imaginings, of the ceaseless technological innovation needed to bring these imaginings to life.

At the same time, it shows us our familiar planet from an entirely new perspective, and offers vivid snapshots of the unique beauties and unexpected hazards of the "atmosphæra incognita" that lies between this world and "the deep ocean of the cosmos." The result is pure pleasure, pure excitement, pure Neal Stephenson. No one with an interest in Stephenson's work, or in science fiction at its most thoughtful and ambitious, can afford to miss this latest edition to an extraordinary body of work.

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon (2013), edited by Gregory Benford and James Benford. It can also be found in the anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better World (2014), edited by Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn.


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