Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Orthogonal Universe - Greg Egan

"What would it be like to live in a universe with four dimensions that were all essentially the same? The universe we inhabit has three dimensions of space and one of time, and though relativity has taught us that there is no absolute notion of time that is shared by everyone, the whole variety of directions in space-time that different people might call “the future” is entirely separate from the set of directions that different people might call “north”. What would be the outcome if that distinction were erased, and there were four dimensions that were all as much alike as “north” and “east”? Such a universe is the setting for a trilogy of novels that I’m writing, with the overall title of Orthogonal. The first volume, The Clockwork Rocket, was published in 2011; the second, The Eternal Flame, has just been released by Night Shade books in the US, and will be out from Gollancz in the UK in October. Since time as such is absent from the Orthogonal universe, a first guess might be that it would resemble a snapshot of the world we see around us at a single moment, albeit a snapshot with four dimensions of space rather than three. Worse, it would be a snapshot with no backstory: no sequence of prior events to organize and enrich the subjects caught in the flash. It would consist of nothing but scattered, isolated objects with no history or duration." 4.5 out of 5 http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/guest-post-orthogonal-universe-by-greg.html