* {{Defictionalization}}: Due to TranslationConvention, the characters are actually speaking a fictional language called Orth rather than English. A friend of the author's developed the language as a full-fledged ConLang at the author's request.
* GeniusBonus: This is a Creator/NealStephenson book, after all. The philosophies and scientific theories, or "theorics", mentioned in the book have RealLife counterparts.
* TearJerker: Suur Ala and [[spoiler:Fraa Erasmas, just before kicking off the Antiswarm]]
* WhamLine: "'In my world,' said Zh’vaern, [[spoiler:'we call it a Faraday cage.'"]]