EBOOK NEW (Celestial Matters) By Richard Garfinkle
Er key theme which Garfinkle hides between the lines the protagonist lives in a world where the study of history is deeply neglected by hard science dominated academia and it s only by his contrariant interest for the discipline and his personal connection with the muse Kleo that he manages to salvage and otherwise doomed space missionA brilliant and amusing book which would serve perfectly as a light but worthy literary companion for college physics courses Give the author a marginal amount of credit for attempting to be creative That one positive said all lse
Is Bad About This bad about this I presume the author must have believed his audience would have zero familiarity with ancient Greece and zero knowledge of logic as it pertains
science Early at that point where the author ascribes modern American weights and measures to the Greek mpire dependent on ancient beliefs it was a matter of attempting to reign in the gag reflex rather than trying to fathom any pleasure from this horrible tome Probably skipped about 100 pages in total and without Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention ever reading thending I really don t feel like I missed anything The juvenile writing style was a major detraction along with the thorough inanity of the story line itself A simplistic writing style poorly suited to obtuse content For xample in describing the no longer operational guns of the ship they jutted defiantly upward what kind of phrasing is that Gag When naming the heroes of Greece why are they all from a period over a thousand years ago Hmmm what does that tell us about the story And the chief protagonist the captain One would naturally think that one of the two most powerful nations on arth would make some attempt at selecting a person in such an important position who actually had some knowledge of what they were about and someone who would Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education exhibit some sort ofmotional balance However the summary phrase that leapt to my mind was a solid portrayal of a blind one legged strutting peacock arbitrarily driven by the whim of nonexistent gods Gag again Not sure it can get much worse than this True rating 0 A really xcellent book which I heard of randomly through a gaming blog recently I m a bit sad that I d never heard of this book before though I wonder if I would have appreciated it as much if I d read it arly though perhaps of the issue is that it demonstrates how much stuff is out there that I would probably really like but which I won t hear of I really like the basic premise of this story and I feel like the author does a good job of conveying the fact that the world operates according to very distinct laws of physics from our world An interesting point from this is I realized that although the Greeks are often credited with developing the beginning of science and rational inuiry into the world they were not good scientists since most of the major theories came from idealized beliefs about things and not from accurate observation of actual phenomenon I also really like the way the gods are incorporated into society in the book I think with modern culture the gods are filtered too much through the lenses of monotheism and rationalism and so the depiction of gods in most fantasy writing feels a bit stiff Here we have a depiction of religion that takes the source material seriously and is reflective of how believers might actually describe their Cruise Control experiences Thend is also well done mostly I like that having realized the war is pointless they don t try to force a sudden resolution of hostilities but rather plant the seeds that may lead to reconciliation down the line But the literal nd of the story the final lines are annoyingly abrupt and somewhat ambiguous Up until the nd the gods were only present in subjective City Limits experiences and I assumed that the characters invoked the gods as a sort of metaphor for states of mind and flashes of insight and such with a commonality ofxperience resulting from the characters using the same stories to describe and understand their xperiences So it is an unwelcome intrusion at the nd when the narrator is suddenly taken up to appear before the gods is it some weird metaphor for him dieing of stress and reflecting on his life or are the gods literally real It is just a small bit at the nd and the beginning sort of so it doesn t ruin an otherwise very good book but I would have like a better nding. E Their technologies are locked together however and neither Culture and Enchantment empire can gain the upper hand Each side secretly despairs of its chances and has come to consider desperate measuresThe story is narrated by Aias of Tyre a scientist of the Delian League who is preparing tombark on Project Sunthief as scientific commander This project is an audacious and desperate mission to sail a spaceship carved out of a piece of the moon herself out through the spheres to catch a piece of the sun and bring it back to arth to annihilate the Middler capital city This the league hopes will finally nd the war and give it victory. With motorized ships and space travel is 20thto science arly
century the needs of the great war haveThe needs of the great war have to accelerated science but atrophied culture with philosophy and history both low prestige disciplinesI ve talked mostly about the setting rather than the plot but honestly the setting is the reason to read the book It s a clever conceit that s D DAY Through German Eyes 2 executed well with a first person narration that drops you into the deepnd of an unfamiliar world but doles out details on its rules in a steady fashion as the book goes on This includes not just science but culture as the characters of the book hold to ancient Greek traditions the Olympic pantheon funeral games inspiration from the muses a Spartan sense of honor and a huge classical influence on the ideals of heroismMy biggest ualm with the book is the way its final act developed which stepped into the realm of world saving world shaking heroism The too neat conclusion was justified by a little divine intervention though I suppose one could argue that is itself authentic to the material s inspiration Regardless it felt a little narratively implausible I d have felt it to be Baroque Personae earned if the novel s conclusion had been thend of a trilogy that started on a very grounded level and only gradually raised the stakesI was also left with uestions about the world Though by the Democratic Art end I understood the Aristotelian physics undergirding the universe rather well in a confusing twist the Taoist model of the universe ALSO turns out to be true The novel never reallyxplains how two contradictory models of reality can be true at the same time the narrator and protagonist figures it out but doesn t actually tell us what he s figured out Given that the author thought out the implications of both physics models with great care that suggests he didn t uite suare that circle itherBut altogether it was an njoyable read at least for someone like me who is vaguely familiar with Aristotle A lover of speculative fiction with no background might still njoy the story I can t say how that xperience would be different or the Codependent Forevermore: The Invention of Self in a Twelve Step Group experience of someone who s actually anxpert in Aristotelian or Taoist physics The writing style seemed accessible though I m not particularly picky on that matter particularly well done seemed to be the narrator s habit of periodically Conscience and Memory: Meditations in a Museum of the Holocaust expressing regret for not noticing something important foreshadowing future developments without giving it away This is a book I always wanted toxist without realizing it I am so glad someone wrote it in real life Commander Aias of the Celestial Ship Chandra s Tear is charged with heading up operation Sunthief using a ship to steal a piece of the sun and drop it on the capital city of the Middle Kingdom the nemy of the Delian LeagueThis is one of those books that s hard to classify
something be as hard sf if the science in uestion is that of the ancient Greeks and ually ancient Chinese That s right Celestial matters is part hard sf part alternate history The Delia League is a Greek Empire founded on the spurious science of the ancient Greeks which works in this universe Spontaneous Generation farms are used to create animals Space is full of air The humors govern the health of the body The Delian League is at war with the Middle Kingdom which is an Pansy Vol. 6 eually largempire built upon Taoist scienceAs you can tell the world As Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods every great best science fiction book Celestial Matters is not just science fiction for the sake of itself Scientific fiction or uite literally in this case fictional science is a means to point out some otherwise poorly considered themes of our ordinary world a strategy to devise mentalxperiments which thanks to their anomalous appearence draw the readers attention on specific topicsThe main focus of Celestial Matters thus is not What if Aristotelian Physics was true which is of course uite an amazing starting point nonetheless but Is it true that there s only one correct viewpoint to Elizabeth I explain facts orven ambitiously Can two mutually Education in a New Society exclusive worldviews be both valid at the same timeGarfinkle s detailed analysis of fictional Aristotelian and Taoist science technology and cosmology and concurrently of Athenian Spartan and Han aka Middlerthos would spark the shadow of doubt Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education even in the mind of the most inflexible flagbearers of objectivity and pense uniue The importance of history is anoth. Om the perspective of the Greeks it is less well understood Xi the Chinese notion of spirit and flow can be manipulated to move objects andnergy The Chinese five lements of arth metal water wood and fire are transmuted one into the other Part of the central theme of the book is the two system's mutual misunderstanding and bafflement of The Baby Swap Miracle each otherIn this world the Delian League Greeks and Middle Kingdom Chinese have been fighting a war for nearly a thousand yearsver since the time of Alexander the Great when the warrior culture of Sparta and the Athenian Akademe were fused into a half world conuering forc.can something be
Characters Celestial MattersThis was definitely worth reading both for the steampunk and silkpunk content and as a speculation on ancient Greek science which we of course ignore now that we have real scientific vidence of how the universe works I have to disclose that I know very little about Greek celestial theory and so much of the science was opaue to me but that didn t make the book less njoyable or less inspiringIn a nutshell the book is about a scientist named Aias commander of a celestial ship in the service of the Delian League the Grecian ruled West whose goal at the beginning of "The Story Is To Lead " story is to lead operation that will allow his team to capture a fragment of the sun s fire and use it as a weapon to destroy the capitol of the Middle Kingdom China and nominal leader of the East who they ve been at war with for hundreds of years Middle Kingdom spies and agents are sent to stop this and the first half of the book is spent trying to solve the mystery of who these spies are and how they plan to sabotage the missionAias and his culture use technology derived from ancient Greek theory and the Middle Kingdom uses Taoist science to produce technology powered by Xi Scientists from both sides are constantly hilariously commenting on how incomprehensible the other side s technology is and this seeming gulf of understanding is probably the most important mystery of the book It is ventually solved but the story nds rather abruptly with the completion of Aias s little political manipulation and we never learn what happened to the characters once that hurdle was overcomeThat s my biggest gripe with the book actually I would ve liked a little closure Ramonojon s plight isn t really solved and we don t know what reception Aias and Phan receive in their respective homes or ven if they try to return at all since Aias s plan has been blessed by all of his gods you can imagine the future plays out xactly as he lays it out in the last few paragraphs but we get no indication of what happens to these characters As characters are generally still the most important part of a book for me this was a disappointmentAlso interesting the integration of gods and celestial science Another thing I appreciated was the lack of an authorial or character centric opinion of which belief or philosophy Greek or Tao was supposed to be judged correct by the reader The two traditions seem to be given ual validityOn the topic of Phan and Middle Kingdom characters in general I think the author did a good job of portraying them as characters in THEIR OWN RIGHT INSTEAD OF AS STEREOTYPES ALSO THAT own right instead of as stereotypes also that weren t depicted as clearly in the wrong but that both sides had historical and cultural precedent for their behavior and beliefs My opinion of Persia via Mihradarius isn t as well formed but I mention it because of the part he played in the mystery Describes a world in which Aristotelian Physics are real the Delian League of Alexander the Great never collapsed and they now do battle against the Middle Kingdom China by attempting to steal a
piece of the sun I loved the way the author took arlyof the sun I loved the way the author took Gender Justice early on science and physics and created working technology around them I can t review this objectively because my husband wrote it I think it s brilliant naturally but better check some other people s reviews A fascinating and very wellxecuted novel of alternate science It s set in a world in which what Aristotle posited about the nature of the world four Generations and Collective Memory elements rotating geocentric celestial spheres four humour based medicinetc are actually true Mostly More on this Further it s a novel of alternate history for which the point of divergence appears to be that the Peloponnesian War never occurred Rather Athens and Sparta united in the Delian League and clipsed Macedonia culturally and militarily Alexander as a League general instead of a deified mperor lived until old age His tutor Aristotle used his science to create new weapons of war that led to an From Notes to Narrative even larger and much durable HellenicmpireIn the time of the novel s setting the world is Guitar Makers: The Endurance of Artisanal Values in North America essentially divided in a forever war between the Greek Delian League and the Chinese Middle Kingdom with the battle lines in Tibet and central North America The time period is never uite specified it s said Alexander smpire has lasted a thousand years which would put it about 700 AD but the feel of the setting. In the world of Celestial Matters Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian physics are valid scientific models of the surrounding world and cosmos The Earth lies at the center of the universe surrounded by crystal spheres which hold God's Choice: The Total World of a Fundamentalist Christian School each of the planets the sun and the moon allnclosed in the sphere of the fixed stars Earthly matter composed of the classical four Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets (Paper)) elements ofarth air fire and water naturally moves in straight lines Heavenly matter naturally rises and moves in circles This is the universe as understood by the ancient GreeksThe science of the ancient Chinese also applies but as the novel is told fr.