Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grownup Books

I have been reading YA exclusively for a while. Not by any plan, but that is just what happened. Saturday I started a Sci-Fi book. After reading the first paragraph I realized my brain had become atrophied. I understood none of it. "The pseudofabric structure of the wormholes was a photonic dead zone." Am I supposed to know what that means? Do regular people understand that? Will I figure it out by the end of the book? Is it even important? Do I care? I want to care because my coworker is waiting anxiously for me to tell her how much I love the book. But it is work for my lazy brain. "Captain Kyle Prager was shocked out of a simple astrogration review by a datavised proximity alert from the flight computer." Sigh...Only 580 pages to go.


  1. LOL! This one is so funny! Please keep posting Jane!

  2. And are those real quotes from the book??!!

  3. Unfortunately. But, I will not give up. It can be read. I am not an idiot.

  4. I'm guessing in this story's world, wormholes don't have mass, so they are made of pseudo-fabric (not actual matter, but something in between concept and substance), and a photonic deadzone simply means that light doesn't exist within it, the same way sound doesn't exist in a vacuum...
    Astrogation review=> navigation report
    Datavised=>? hardwired data transfer? INfo flashing on a screen? Visual data by some means, surely.
    proximity alert=> a warning that something is nearby, another ship, a meteor or something...

    While I can pretty easily make out what the author means, I find that the best sci-fi doesn't hit you with tech unless you can understand it... It may be that the genre is not your cup of tea, it may be this is not the right kind of scifi for you (there are so many utterly different kinds of scifi), it may not be very well written. There's also the fact many scifi books start out strong on techno babble just so that you "get it", it's the future they have tech, and as the plot develops the tech takes back seat.

    I suspect you're brain hasn't atrophied at all (figuratively speaking) and that this isn't especially a "grownup" book, it's just another world with different narrative devices you need to get used to...
    What are you reading? And how much science fiction have you read before? Maybe you'd have more fun starting (if you are starting) with something else?

  5. Alesa, I love Isaac Asimov. His Robot series and Prelude to Foundation are books I will reread again and again. Of course there is almost no tech-speak in his stories. Orson Scott Card is another favorite who doesn't use fancy language. My goal was to try something different, but maybe I should pick something better. I plan on giving it 100 pages, and then I'll see.

  6. LOL!!!

    Much as I love sci-fi soties and am currently trying to finish a sci-fi anthology - these types of passages crop up so often I think I just skim over them and try to think only lovely thoughts!

    Most of it sounds like Dr Who's "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow"


    Good luck with the book and take care

  7. I think that passage quoted would have beaten me. I am not a great Sci-Fi fan to begin with. But I did love, 'Cloud Atlas ‘does that count?

    Good luck with the reading and the critiquing!

  8. Hahahahaha! I loved this... oh gosh, I wouldn't understand either. Not a Michael Moorcock is it? I'd read it as: Captain Kyle Prager was shocked out of a simple bzzzz review by a bzzzz proximity alert from the flight computer. :)

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  10. Jayne, It's not Michael Moorcock. I guess he is another author to avoid.

    Ann, I never read Cloud Atlas. I will have to try it.

    Kitty, I am skimming and skimming. I like the book better if I don't try to understand.