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Too Like the Lightning: Book One of Terra…
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Too Like the Lightning: Book One of Terra Ignota (Terra Ignota, 1) (edició 2017)

de Ada Palmer (Autor)

Sèrie: Terra Ignota (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,1915712,198 (3.75)106
From the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Ada Palmer's 2017Compton Crook Award-winningpolitical science fiction,Too Like the Lightning,ventures into a human future of extraordinary originality Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world's population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whoseendless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life. And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life... Terra Ignota 1.Too Like the Lightning 2.Seven Surrenders 3.The Will to Battle… (més)
Membre:rapunzle
Títol:Too Like the Lightning: Book One of Terra Ignota (Terra Ignota, 1)
Autors:Ada Palmer (Autor)
Informació:Tor Books (2017), Edition: Reprint, 448 pages
Col·leccions:Llista de desitjos
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Too Like the Lightning de Ada Palmer

Afegit fa poc perjpc_lib, biblioteca privada, youngheart80, pbeagan, TheGalaxyGirl, Dr.RTC, ilgin, scarfa, LadyDita
Biblioteques llegadesTim Spalding
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» Mira també 106 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 57 (següent | mostra-les totes)
3.5 - 3.75 , though I am not really sure.

I will be honest - I am not entirely sure what this book is about, even though I have finished it.

It's an ideas sci-fi book. Far more than technology, it deals with ideas and their real-world implications. Its elegantly, albeit frustratingly written. It is NOT a quick read.

If I were to be pinned down, I would say this book explores a future with a very interesting philosophy, a world that should be benevolent, but really isn't. This book shows where and how that benevolence falls through and how the underpinning ideas can be fallacious. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
Reads like ad copy for medieval times. Baffling choice. Sometimes you reach for the stars and end up launching your steam powered rocket to prove the world isn't flat. ( )
  sarcher | Jan 19, 2021 |
No apto para todos los públicos, desde luego. ( )
  essuniz | Jan 2, 2021 |
This book was weird and difficult and off-putting at times. But by about 2/3 through (when I FINALLY got a handle on what was going on, ish) I couldn't put it down. Some books hook you with suspense, some with character, some with worldbuilding. This one hooks you with intrigue. There's a ton of politics in it, maneuvering, secrets. Secrets you don't realize the narrator is keeping from you. Off putting things (the weird fetishizing attitude toward gender, for instance) that you find out later were clues.

It's written in a difficult 18th century style. Whole chapters are spent on theological dialogues or flashy parties with long descriptions of how over-the-top awesome everyone is. And OH MY GAWD, no book has ever needed a glossary of names so badly as this one does, as everyone important seems to have several.

But all is that is sleight of hand, magician's patter. You think the plot is going to be asking, "What happened with the leaked Seven-Ten List?" or "What's going to happen to Bridger?" when the real questions are, "What is the narrator so infamous for?" and "Who is J.E.D.D. MASON?" And plenty of the questions that you finally figure out are the real questions to ask, are not answered by the end of this book. You're going to have to read the sequel.

I know I'm not selling it well. I want to be honest that it's a challenging book, to the point that I set it aside for a week with the intent not to finish. But if you *like* a challenge and you think you're pretty smart, go ahead and read it (with a notebook to track the Hives and characters). It has a lot to make it still worthwhile after all the difficulty. ( )
  jennelikejennay | Dec 31, 2020 |
This is unlike any book you are likely to have read before. On one level, it is a political thriller set in the 25th century. Religion has been abolished. So has the nation state. Instead, people declare their adherence to one of seven 'Hives', which are trans-national and each of which has their own laws, observances, customs and practices. A big part of this novel is about the interplay between those Hives; how crime is dealt with when law is a fluid thing; and how political power and influence can be exercised in such a society. These topics have been looked at before (I most recently experienced it in Neal Stephenson's 'The Diamond Age'); but here the subject is treated seriously and the practical implications of such a change are laid out clearly.

On another level, this is an excursion into the Eighteenth Century mind, expressed through the medium of an Eighteenth Century novel. (For the most part. Some of the subject matter would never have been addressed in a novel from the Eighteenth Century. And I don't just mean the science fictional parts.) Politics, fashion, public spectacle, crime and punishment are all influenced by the re-discovered philosophies of the Eighteenth Century. For me, this was an excursion back into my school history. Diderot and the Encyclopaedists! Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Noble Savage! Voltaire and the Enlightenment! The Marquis de Sade! (Well, he wasn't covered in school.) All these got mentions. The fascination with the Eighteenth Century is expressed in the format of the novel. There are asides, diversions to explain this philosophical point or that social nicety. I had been warned about this by other reviews; I didn't find it as disruptive to my reading as I feared.

Having said that, the author has mixed things up considerably by deliberately adopting gender-neutral pronouns; partly to show that the future society is situated at a time where such things are both sometimes necessary, and always polite; but also, by having one of their main characters break that particular rule, to help explain the society's mores to us. Having read Anne Leckie's 'Ancillary Sword' series not so long ago, I wasn't too taken aback by this, and indeed began challenging the gender identity of some characters fairly early on, which turned out to be a helpful move on my part.

As to the plot: it starts out as the investigation of a theft, a very First World sort of theft. Political influence in this world is gauged by "Seven-Ten Lists", lists published by a number of influential news sources every so often, detailing who is up, who is down, and who are the ones to watch out for. (And anyone who thinks this is unlikely needs to look at the sports pages of their favourite news outlet.) One particular 'bash' (from the Japanese 'basho', used here to denote an extended household with a specific Hive affiliation and a particular high-profile role in the global society) falls under suspicion of being involved in the theft. Investigation shows that they are probably being set up for this crime, but the investigation also uncovers a lot of suspicious activities that point in a very worrying direction. And that's before anyone realises that the bash' is sheltering a strange child with even stranger powers.

Characters are interestingly drawn; in keeping with the style of the novel, we are told as much as we are shown. The plot gets quite complex, so much so that as we get towards the end of this first part of the story (there are another three volumes in the series), the author feels it necessary to bring together many of the central characters for an Agatha Christie-like reveal, although in this instance, it's more of a review of how the plot threads have become tangled, and what the characters propose to do to try to untangle them. And the central character, through whom the story is told to an off-stage Reader (and possibly others), is something of an unusual choice. He is a rarity in this world, a mass murderer, who has been sentenced to Servitude; effectively an indentured slave to the whole world, he is at the beck and call of any citizen to do jobs that require people to get their hands dirty, usually in literal ways. For this, he is kept, and fed; but he is unable to hold property or possessions, and has to be on constant call. But his skills are such that the jobs he is called upon to do are a cut above shovelling ordure; he is considered to be one of the finest analytical minds on earth, and so was too important to be put to death. And connected with this character is the child with remarkable powers who seems to be implicated in some sort of change to the world that the Reader lives in but the writer does not.

In Britain, we would call this a "Marmite" book; you will either love it or hate it. Personally, I loved it; for the world-building, for the erudition, for the sheer difference of this world from our own. I started reading science fiction to be challenged; and this book certainly achieves that. But this isn't a rip-roaring, action-packed page-turner, and if that is your preference, you should look elsewhere. ( )
3 vota RobertDay | Dec 6, 2020 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (5 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Palmer, Adaautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Higgins Palmer, LauraFotògrafautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mosquera, VictorAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Saunders, HeatherDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Ah, my poor Jacques! You are a philosopher. But don't worry: I'll protect you.

—Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
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This book is dedicated to the first human who thought to hollow out a log to make a boat, and his or her successors.
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You will criticize me, reader, for writing in a style six hundred years removed from the events I describe, but you came to me for explanation of those days of transformation which left your world the world it is, and since it was the philosophy of the Eighteenth Century, heavy with optimism and ambition, whose abrupt revival birthed the recent revolution, so it is only in the language of the Enlightenment, rich with opinion and sentiment, that those days can be described.
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No n'hi ha cap

From the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Ada Palmer's 2017Compton Crook Award-winningpolitical science fiction,Too Like the Lightning,ventures into a human future of extraordinary originality Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world's population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whoseendless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life. And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life... Terra Ignota 1.Too Like the Lightning 2.Seven Surrenders 3.The Will to Battle

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