Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

"Engineering Infinity" by Jonathan Strahan (ed) (Solaris, 2010)

Hard-ish SF, a sub-genre I'm less keen on nowadays. Benford continues to show he can write. The stories by Stephen Baxter and Robert Reed had their moments. Reed's was perhaps my favorite. Discussing solipsism, a character says "Every time you feel bored and ordinary, be grateful. Because that's the best evidence that you are genuinely, joyously real". I'm going to focus on "Walls of Flesh, Bars of Bone" by Damien Broderick and Barbara Lamar because of its wealth of allusions. The allusions are in character and contribute to the plot, but there's a lot of them. Here's a selection

  • A Max Born quote about the reality of the wave function, p.159
  • A dissertation title - Ob(Stet)Rick's:A/OB[GYN]jection, Blood and Blocked de(Sire) in CASA[BLANK]A., p.160
  • Mention of Jacques Lacan, p.166
  • Mention of Tea Party (political), p.167
  • Mention of Julia Kristeva, p.168
  • Mention of Mapplethorpe and de Kooning (Elaine, naturally, not Willem), p.170
  • He pronounced himself a cubist ... A QBist. A Quantum Bayesian, p.172
  • Bohr thought that nothing was until it was observed, which might not have appealed to Freud, p.174
  • Bohr wrong, of course. Bohm, wrong. Heisenberg not even wrong. QBists, half right, p.177
  • The ghost of Christmas Future, p.177
  • "It's an entanglement excursion," Amanda told me. "Probability waves bouncing around an attractor, making the droplets walk, you know? We're just walls of flesh, daddy, wrapped around bars of bone. And tangled."
    A fragment of an old Bob Dylan song twanged in the back of my defeated skull. "Tangled up in blue"
    , p.177
  • wore a tee-shirt urging me to Please readjust your priors before leaving the QBicle, p.178
  • we are told inside a text by Derrida: Il n'y a pas de hors-texte, p.180
  • Picasso's wonderful African contortions, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, his cubism, his late hideous, marvellous Nude Woman with a Necklace, and of course the once-fashionable distortions and visual paradoxa of Dali, Escher, Magritte, the decompressions into art that denied itself as art, Rauschenberg, Johns, p.180
  • My experiment with single particle self-interference proved that a macroscopic extended object can be made to deviate through an instability threshold and surf its own pilot wave. But it can only do that because we chose to place it in that apparatus. We observe it from our own Bayesian priors, p.182

No comments:

Post a Comment