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"If a book is worth reading at all, it is worth reading more than once. Suspense is the lowest of excitants, designed to take your breath away when the brain and heart crave to linger in nobler enjoyment. Suspense drags you on; appreciation causes you to linger."


— William Gerhardie

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Distances

Equilateral: a novel

Title: Equilateral: a novel
By: Ken Kalfus

This quiet, geometrical tale is so realistic, one starts to wonder if it really happened, but everyone is so embarrassed it is never mentioned. Victorian explorers, intense scientists, exploited native workers, men of business, and dedicated but undervalued women all contribute to a gargantuan undertaking led by one scientist with a grand vision: a plausible method for communication across the huge distance between Earth and Mars, using technology available in the second half of the 19th century.

One also detects distance between the characters -- both emotional distance, and the distance imposed by lack of comprehension. The methodology Kalfus describes for this attempt to contact intelligent life on Mars is fabulous steampunk, but his ultimate aim may be to remind us how idealism can be subverted by the industrial machine.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction

Posted by April on Jan. 6, 2014 at 3:11 p.m.
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