The Freeze-Frame Revolution: mutineers unstuck in time, strung out across an aeon


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/12/millennia-eyeblinks.html

Peter Watts (previously) is a brilliant bastard of a science fiction writer, whose grim scenarios are matched by their scientific speculation; in his latest, a novella called The Freeze-Frame Revolution, Watts imagines a mutiny that stretches out across aeons, fought against a seemingly omnipotent AI.


#2

Sounds good.


#3

The premise reminds me a bit of


#4

I am reminded of John Brunner’s 1991 novel A Maze of Stars, in which the protagonist – an artificially intelligent spaceship – revisits planets which it previously seeded with human colonies.

Brunner uses this device to investigate how different environmental conditions lead to different social structures.

Not my very favorite Brunner novel, but well-crafted, and quite Brunnerian.


#5

That’ll be the next book I read, thanks!

Reminds me of Hugh Howey’s Silo series, which begins with Wool.


#6

I am not acquainted with Howey’s work – will check it out – thanks for the tip.


#7

unstuck in time

Hope they give credit to Kurt Vonnegut for that…


#8

Larry Niven kicks ass.


#9

This was when Billy first came unstuck in time. His attention began to swing grandly through the full arc of his life, passing into death, which was violet light. There wasn’t anybody else there, or anything. There was just violet light—and a hum.


#10

Oh hey, this is the latest in his Sunflowers series of stories. You can find some of them free to read on his website, labelled “Sunflowers”. I read “The Island” recently, and liked it a lot.


#11

‘Hull Zero Three’ by Greg Bear is another novel on a similar theme.


#12

Hmmmmmmmm…


#13

In recent years, I would say that he has been kind of uneven (I was not a fan of the Heorot series) but Building Harlequin’s Moon was an interesting story.


#14

Wool is excellent.


#15

Most of the recent Niven has been written by up and coming co-authors whom he’s lent his name to for marketing reach.


#16

Obviously Slaughterhouse-Five came earlier, but there’s a latter short story by Asimov that involves a similar conceit.

Interestingly, both stories describe a universe that appear to obey Newton’s concept of Absolute Time as a fixed tapestry like a cork-board on which space coordinates are pinned. You actually don’t see that much in science fiction since Einstein disproved it before most of it was ever written.


#17

You’re always testing the envelope, you rebel, I love you.


#18

Agreed. The Wool omnibus is totally worth it.


#19

What, for Cory’s headline copy?


#20

This is definitely vintage Watts, from the Elder Gods the Eri discovers as it traverses the wormholes it creates to the imaginative tortures the mutineers use to punish those who betray the rebellion.

I prefer to avoid reading about people being tortured, IRL or in fiction. It’s one of the reasons I couldn’t stick with the Culture series. Should I avoid this one?