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Supersymmetry

de David Walton

Séries: Superposition (2)

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543385,383 (3.06)Nenhum(a)
Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field. The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind. Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world. The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley--the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people. The two young women must fight the varcolac, despite the fact that defeating it may mean resolving once again into a single person.… (mais)
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Exibindo 3 de 3
I wanted to like this more. I really did.

Anything that brings to life the littlest of particles and turns them into living, breathing macrocosmic entities has got my fourteen thumbs of flipped approval. I thought the action sequences were quite out of a superhero movie, with teleportation, flight, and even a Doctor Doom blowing up cities from safely behind another dimension while the rest of us contemplate the wonders of time travel and decide how to get around all the timey-wimey stuff.

Great ideas going on here, and I don't even need to look too carefully at the math to know that transposing the micro world matrix into the macro, (the one that's defined by tricky concepts like gravity and planar time,) is an awfully lost proposition, especially since our bits and pieces oughtn't fit together as we obviously think they do. My fingers aren't really slapping these keys, after all. And that's kinda the point. We're in this for the story and the introduction or reintroduction of a wild quantum zoo come to play with us silly mortals and our short-stop near-future mental computers that can be programmed to do a whole suite of nifty things.

Great setup. The world is pretty much ours, only more future. Unfortunately, we were inundated with gag reflexes and cracks about how unsafe airplanes are, super-stupid military types and a comic-book rock-em-sock-em plot knockdown that only happened because the wonder-twins were available.

Wonder-twins? Oh yeah, this book takes place 15 years after [b:Superposition|22551892|Superposition|David Walton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1421707724s/22551892.jpg|42009574], and the kiddo that got split into two and were prevented from falling back into one person with dual sets of memories got to stay apart all this time as the price to pay to be safe from the baddies of the other quantum dimensions messing with us big time. It turns out that they were also important for this novel, too, but that wasn't very clear until much later, when my dissatisfaction with the ex machina plot had already taken root and festered.

I should have gotten over that. They're a decent pair and not at all like the SuperFriends kids. Really.

Okay, so at least we don't have a long and drawn out court battle in this one. That's a plus. But it's gets dragged back into police drama. (One of the wonder twins joined the force.) Papa's dead right off the bat, even though he was the main freaking character of the previous novel. I get the feeling we were supposed to think of this as a pathos moment, but it flew right over my head during the game.

Unfortunately, we have a problem with common sense when it comes to the plot. You do not. I repeat. Do Not enlist the help of the ultra-powerful psychopathic mommy who's willing to let Cthulhu into the world to change her baby from an unfortunate into a superfortunate version of itself. If she's locked up in a maximum security prison shielded with faraday cages, JUST LET HER BE. I don't care if the story needed a baddy to propel the conflict. Bring in someone new. Someone with a history of Not Screwing Over Your Family. *sigh*

At least the cities were all blowing up. That's a plus. Unfortunately, it was all second-hand. That's a negative.

Last but not least: the dialog. I have read worse, but usually it hinted at being sarcastic and/or satire.

I know this sounds a bit harsh, and it's not really meant to be that rough, I just believed that we both had something going on that was pretty special when I took both novels out on dates. I tried to ignore the buck teeth because of the PHD, I ignored the cliche-speech because of how the novels lit up with big superpowers on occasion. I didn't even have too much of a problem with the insistence that police and courtroom dramas were truly the height of all literature, even though we were both on the same wavelength for most of the night, geeking out over great SF. I just didn't get it. This one decided that lame cliches were funny and a valid excuse to pad the plot. I tried to smile and make nice.

Why was it going so wrong?

I've decided that I'm going to remain friends with the novels. They're not bad folks. They just don't quite seem to know what they really want to be. Perhaps it will get better with time? Someone else will pick them up and take them home? I wish those someones all the love in the world.

:) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The older and more experienced I get as a professional book reviewer, the more I'm realizing that there are in fact two radically different types of science-fiction novel out there, a genre which I've been faithfully (if not indiscriminately) reading since I was a kid; there are the science-fiction novels that work just as great general novels as well, full of complex characters and a strong style and a plot that is airtight relative to its own internal universe; and there are the science-fiction novels that can only be loved by hardcore fans of science-fiction (say for example the ones who attend a large amount of SF conventions every year, which is why such novels tend to do well at convention-based awards programs like the Hugos), the kind that would otherwise be considered mediocre at best by a fan of general fiction but that fetishistically deliver on the exact kinds of genre details that those genre fans are salivating over. And in fact this is where we get the entire concept of "genre novel" to begin with, I've also come to realize; when someone calls a book one, they're not necessarily implying simply that it's a book written in that genre, but instead that it's an otherwise so-so book that is loved by its fans solely and exclusively for delivering the kinds of easy details that those genre fans are looking for in the first place (whether that's disturbingly intelligent serial killers in crime novels, haughty elves in fantasy novels, half-naked pirates in romance novels, dysfunctional families in hipster-lit novels, etc).

And while I'm a huge fan of SF publisher Pyr for all the legitimately fantastic novels they put out every year, I must also admit that they put out an even bigger number each year of these so-so con favorites, because this is the bread and butter of any genre publisher and, hey, even Pyr's gotta pay for baby's new shoes, right? Take for example the recent one-two series Superposition and Supersymmetry by defense-industry engineer David Walton, whose Goodreads pages to be fair are littered with mostly 4- and 5-star reviews, but that personally made me almost cause permanent damage to my skull from all the eye-rolling I did while making my way through them. Essentially crime novels set among the employees of a fictional atom smashing facility in New Jersey, the premise is that one of these employees has finally caused a successful Quantum Something Or Other (ah, the Quantum Something Or Other -- where would lazy 21st-century science-fiction be without it?), causing a Quantum hole in the universe where Quantum creatures have Quantum gotten in and are Quantum causing a bunch of Quantum damage to our own universe.

Filled with the kinds of half-baked two-dimensional characters you would expect from a mediocre genre novel (wives who exist for no other reason than to show you that the main character is a good husband, the random blue-collar friend who exists for no other reason so that the main character can present a dumbed-down expository explanation of what's going on), and told through courtroom scenes that sound like a sub-par version of a Law & Order episode (which is saying a lot), Walton tries to have it both ways here, with characters that sometimes react to all the magical nonsense without blinking an eye, but then sometimes spend entire chapters saying "What's going on? I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON!!!" when it's convenient for the plot that they do so. A mess of a series that is nonetheless loved by many, these are the kinds of novels that can only be tolerated by the kinds of genre fans who tear through a book like this every single day, and who don't really care whether it's well-done as a piece of literature as long as the word 'quantum' appears a thousand times in 300 pages. It should all be kept in mind before picking up a copy yourself.

Out of 10: 6.9 ( )
1 vote jasonpettus | Sep 27, 2015 |
This book is kind of a follow up to Superposition. It features the Kelley family. Also, I can't forget the varcolac. The reason I say that this book is "kind of" because if you have not read Superposition, then you still will be drawn to this book but I can tell you that after finishing this book, you will want to go back and pick up a copy. I could not stop reading this book. When I did put it down for a moment, I was already half way done. Of course, when I could, I rushed back to this book and finished the last half just as quickly as I did the first half. I absolutely love this book and books from Mr. Walton. I can't wait to read the next book and learn more about the varcolac. For a fan of sci-fi books this is a great book. Although I would classify this book as a quantum physics book. Which if this is what all these types of books are like, than sign me up. ( )
  Cherylk | Sep 15, 2015 |
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Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field. The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind. Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world. The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley--the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people. The two young women must fight the varcolac, despite the fact that defeating it may mean resolving once again into a single person.

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