The Early Days of a Better Nation

Friday, September 12, 2008

The future, hitting me upside the head again

Cosmonaut Keep has a blog.


Just wait until software starts suing you for your libelous remarks about the singularity ;-)

White on black! My poor, aching eyes.

Anyone who writes "worse then" has me sympathizing with their poor English teachers.

Is the cosmonaut a time traveler?

Yes, the cosmonaut is a time traveller - one way. The gimmick in these books is the lightspeed drive, which causes the entire mass of the ship to behave like a photon. The occupants don't experience any time passing on a jump, but they arrive exactly as many years later as they've traversed light-years.

Sometimes (off-stage in the books) the ships get carried a lot farther away and into the future than the navigators intend. This is attributed to 'the gods' (sentient networks of extremophile bacteria in asteroids and comets) sending them 'up the line' to some great war in the future.

The light-speed drive is a total, shameless handwave, without a shred of real-world physics to cover it. Leads to some complicated plotting, though, especially by the third book. At that point I declared trilogy and left :-)

Mind you, if I ever need to go back to that universe, I'd sure like to investigate what's going on up the line.

me wanna!

most especially since Mr. Stross said he won't write any more novels in the Eschaton universe .. so at least my other favourite Space Opera should at some stage continue!

but then again I realize that life is not a delivery-Pizza.

life is not a delivery-Pizza

Oh, I don't know. It's often cheap, the ingredients for a good one are elusive and much debated, and no matter how ill you feel by the time it's finished, you can always do with a bit more.

"Leads to some complicated plotting, though, especially by the third book. At that point I declared trilogy and left :-)"

Indeed. I started reading Engine City about a year after finishing the first two... So I've gone back to read the other two again...

Sheamus, that's probably the best way to read them - in one go. Please do let me know what you think when you finish.

Michael, one problem with writing another installment is that I would find it difficult to get into the mindset I was in when I wrote the Engines of Light books, and if I was going to write something out of where I am now I'd prefer it to be completely new.

As is well known, there are dangers for SF writers in particular in revisiting the universes of earlier works ...

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