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Fine Structure Paperback – March 5, 2021
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Fledgling physicist Ching-Yu Kuang has discovered a Rosetta Stone for all of physics, a treasure trove of advanced scientific breakthroughs beyond all imagination. Exotic energy, teleportation, FTL, parallel universes and near-infinitely more wonders are just within reach; a promise of paradise.
But every attempt to exploit this new science results in sabotage, chaos and destruction. And the laws of science themselves are changing with each experiment, locking out the new discoveries, directly altering the universe to make what should be possible impossible. While Ching watches, humanity's future is being stolen.
Because there's something wrong with his world. There's a fundamental flaw, a defect in its structure...
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- ASIN : B0926TNY4B
- Publisher : Independently published (March 5, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 386 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8735962700
- Item Weight : 10.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.21 x 0.97 x 7.01 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #267,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The basic idea is that there is a whole bunch of technology – ansibles, teleporters, replicators, warp drives, time machines – that should be possible theoretically, but isn’t. The experiments don’t work, or return screwy, inconsistent results. Or the experimenters die. Sometimes in grotesque ways. Also we have super-heroes for some reason? What works doesn’t make sense, and what ought to make sense doesn’t work. And somebody is responsible.
Fine Structure is a lovely ode to experimental science, and a fist-shaking-at-the-sky cry of rage at a universe that refuses to treat humans fairly. There are also discussions of how a skyscraper reacts to having someone punched through its long axis, how X-ray vision would really work, and the ennui of civilization construction and maintenance.
I found the book enjoyable, thought provoking, frustrating, difficult and confusing at times. I think reading it in one sitting may have helped me, but not so sure about that.
I do, however, like this authors writing style, his grand ideas, and solid grasp of hard science and theoretical physics. I see great promise and do look forward to reading more works from qntm.
Minus 1 star for lack of coherence, plus 4 stars for initiative, imagination, a grand premise, and future potential.
That brings me to the reason I didn't give this book a 5-star rating.
I am very careful with books and I own three that were published in the 19th Century. All three remain in excellent condition.
The binding on this paperback book is terrible. Several pages fell out as I was reading the book. Has glue gotten so expensive that a printshop can no longer make books that can be opened and read without falling apart?
These are difficult times.
Utterly delightful. Completely joyful.
At first I'm wondering what is going on, where is this leading? But as the story comes together and the pieces fall into place, my mind expands exponentially.
I've never read anything like and totally lovely it. The ideas are incredible, but in some way, logical. It works. It's fun. (It's terribly terribly moving). I've not even finished yet, but I'm just so excited. I have to ration myself or I feel I miss something. I think this could be one of those rare books where I'll immediately re-read it, so I can really get what is going on.
Starts a bit slow and scattered but very rapidly intensified. Very stimulating. What a buzz.
Top reviews from other countries
So finding this, my first title from the enigmatic Mr. (or Ms.) qntm has been a terrific bit of fun, and I fully intend to move on to their 'There is no Anti-Memetics Division' as next stop. To be honest, I got to the end of my first reading and turned straight back around and began reading again. The first reading was enough to tell me that I'd read something mind-blowing, and give a few hints and pointers as to the most significant characters and episodes out of which I might decoct a vaguely feasible storyline. But as someone else put it - I had no idea what I had just read. The story is presented as a sort of fractal melange of set piece situations, with a fairly large cast of characters whose motivations and allegiances are frequently left less than explicit.
On second reading, I'm managing to get a lot more traction on whom is trying to do what to who and for what reasons. Coming to the end now I think I would be able to describe the plot in some sort of temporally linear English, but of course, to do so would spoil it for new readers. In fact, on second reading, additional, more abstract characters become apparent that help the whole thing fall into a more orderly narrative. In fact there are a couple of pages around the 72% mark that require some very careful reading and deduction but from which most of what comes before will emerge into comprehensible sense. But blink and you will miss it.
So what is the big idea? To attempt to summarise we might say that the book focuses on the nexus between matter, energy and information, with the occasional nod to thermodynamics, all set inside a very, very large poly-dimensional multiverse. It seems that qntm is determined to make the reader work hard, which of course is not the strategy of an author of runaway best sellers. This is
SciFi written by a conceptual connoisseur for conceptual connoisseurs. Essentially a labour of love and a worthy exemplar of imaginative glory.
4 stars because it sucked me in but I'm not even sure i liked it ! And if you think this review makes little sense steer clear of the book !
Not one for beginner SF readers !