Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogonal, #1)The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Greg Egan writes some freaky cool SF. But a word to the wise: expect relatively rigorous math when you step into his worlds.

I'm not saying that you can't follow any of the plots or enjoy the characters without it, but your basic enjoyment of this will stem directly from your enjoyment of FREAKING COOL MATH.

Not that I followed everything, myself, but learning and enjoying the process gave me pretty much all the enjoyment I needed while reading. :) I mean, yes, getting to know a race of people (read aliens) who are very much plant-like and bud and regrow limbs and eat the light that the forest produces IS FREAKING COOL. And learning that their light perception gives them the ability to grok a much deeper sense of red and blue shifts, even minor time-travel perception, is also FREAKING COOL.

And then we learn that this whole universe happens to be envisioned on a simple little alteration from our own? That there is no light-speed? That the speed is based on the frequency and there is no upper limit, that energy can be created out of very odd sources? Like plants? This isn't energy conservation, this is energy creation. As in, fundamental.

So yeah, we go from basic life to basic science to uncovering the secrets of this particular universe all the way up to making a generational starship run by intelligent plants and see them STOP TIME and ... go backward. :)

And Egan does all of this step by step, giving us a sometimes loose interpretation but still a helluvalot more strenuous proof than almost any SF out there. Besides his own, of course. Because he kinda does this all the time. And blows us away. :)

Otherwise, what we have here is a steampunk novel with plant-aliens breaking the fundamental laws of the universe on a generational starship. HOW COOL IS THAT? :)

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