The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay. Full disclosure. I'm more thrilled about the actual math and the scientific discoveries inside this novel based in a universe where light doesn't have a speed-limit than any of the actual writing.
Storytelling? Huh? What's that? Oh, yeah, there were a lot of good parts about feminism in alien biologies that seems rather on point. You know, fissioning your female into four kids but losing your mind and identity, having your male take care of the kids. Always fatal. I did like those sequences where the scientists try to solve it and buck the male-run system by postponing the fission and/or trying to, you know, STAY ALIVE. That took up a lot of the story and it was super easy to follow.
The OTHER part of the novel is what I'm raving about even though I have no idea what the hell went on. Like, almost at all. I mean, page after page after page of wavelength, free radicals in troughs, photons bouncing, near-limitless energy propagation, even about how time expands, reverses the effect we know, turning a little trip on its head from what we know. Generations pass in a ship but only a few years pass on the home planet? ODD! :)
But this will be interesting when these science-types all get back home.
So weird. So much jibber-jabber about high-science, diagrams, fully-fleshed out cosmology and physics and light-propagation. Based on REAL MATH, people. It's completely freaking incomprehensible to read, and yet it's thrown into a novel, fait-accompli, for us to ooh and ahhh over.
And I do. Ooh and ahhh. :) This is the highest rating I'll ever give to an incomprehensible novel. :) Full props for the ideas, but damn about the writing. :)
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