Science Fiction Trivia

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Gimbal Locke
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:05 pm

Calculating really large numbers can lead to war.

I'm asking for the author and the title of the story.

Malacandra
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:51 pm

Gimbal Locke wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:22 pm

( :shock: My previous post here was in 2012? Time flies... :o )
lol. I thought "Who's this Gimbal Locke person then?" and it turns out you haven't posted since before I registered. :lol:
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Gimbal Locke
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:10 pm

Malacandra wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:51 pm
lol. I thought "Who's this Gimbal Locke person then?" and it turns out you haven't posted since before I registered. :lol:
Nice to meet you, Commander Malacandra!

Have been out in the black for quite a while, searching for Raxxla.

Back to the subject at hand: calculating the very big numbers and proving theorems about them is the weapon in this war.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:13 pm

The short story I am looking for is the successor to another short story by the same author.

In the first story, the "enemy" of the second story is discovered by the humans as a result of doing calculations with very big numbers.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:39 pm

The story is not your typical military SF, the military only play a marginal role if any. The "fighters", diplomats and explorers are mathematicians.

It is more about topics in the philosophy of mathematics, such as platonism (do mathematical entities exist independently?), constructivism (does a number exist if it has not been calculated or been written out?), and finitism (is there anything such as infinity in reality?).

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm

The author is Australian, he has won among others a Hugo Award, and there are no pictures of him on the internet.

Last year, one of his stories was released as a short film.

Apart from SF, he has also published scientific papers.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:20 pm

That sounds like Greg Egan … I don't know which short story, though, but it's a start!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:44 pm

The title of the story is a custom data type defined by one of the characters in the story.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:42 am

A bit more googling … is it Egan's "Dark Integers"?

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:48 am

Schild's Ladder , Greg Egan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schild%27s_Ladder

google did all of the work.... so if it wrong blame google...lol

i'm aussie and never heard of the guy..,..
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:52 am

spud42 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:48 am
i'm aussie and never heard of the guy..
I ain't and have heard of him - Quarantine was a good read, as I recall.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:38 pm

lets face it, there are more books to read than anybody has time to read... or funds to purchase.
over a great span of time as well over 100 years of sci fi books.
i'm doing the best i can... lol i'm reading two books at once! Binary by Jay Caselberg on my ph and Singularity Sky - Charles Stross on my ebook reader...
Last edited by spud42 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:40 pm

spud42 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:48 am
Schild's Ladder , Greg Egan
Greg Egan is a mathematician, so maths plays an important role in many of his stories. In Schild's ladder, the math is used to do (quantum) physics.

However, in the story I am looking for, it is the calculation (i.e.: the construction of the numbers) itself which is destructive.

The first word of the title is an antonym for the title of the story which precedes it.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:56 pm

lets face it, there are more books to read than anybody has time to read...
Ain't that the truth!
or funds to purchase.
I've probably read more sci-fi via my local public library than I've bought.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Gimbal Locke » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:57 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:42 am
A bit more googling … is it Egan's "Dark Integers"?
Yes, it is Greg Egan's "Dark Integers", the preceding story is "Luminous".

Over to Disembodied.

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