e-Book What Entropy Means to Me download

e-Book What Entropy Means to Me download

by George Alec Effinger

ISBN: 1557850771
ISBN13: 978-1557850775
Language: English
Publisher: Bart Books (December 1, 1988)
Category: Science Fiction
Subategory: Science Fiction

ePub size: 1374 kb
Fb2 size: 1795 kb
DJVU size: 1223 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 838
Other Formats: mobi mbr doc lit

George Alec Effinger. For my parents, for enabling me to write. unfettered by the bonds of nonexistence. I've always liked the plays. I know the one Our Mother meant; I read it years ago. It is by Ionesco.

George Alec Effinger. For Robin, Harlan, Kate and Damon, for the same. And always, especially, for Di. .Sir, as you and I are in a manner perfect strangers to each other, it would not have been proper to have let you into too many circumstances relating to myself all at once. We have the plays of Ionesco, of De Ghelderode, and of Büchner. I enjoy also the plays of Dürrenmatt and Jarry. Of the classics I read Aeschylus and Aristophanes, Shakespeare and Jonson with relish.

George Alec Effinger (January 10, 1947 – April 27, 2002) was an American science fiction author, born in Cleveland, Ohio. Effinger was a part of the Clarion class of 1970 and had three stories in the first Clarion anthology. His first published story was "The Eight-Thirty to Nine Slot" in Fantastic in 1971. During his early period, he also published under a variety of pseudonyms.

For my parents, for enabling me to write unfettered by the bonds of nonexistence. And always, especially, for Dia. PART ONE. 'Neath His Bronzed Skin His Iron Muscles Played. Obviously a first novel and very New Wave-y, in some places to the point of excess, What entropy Means to Me is still a very ambitious book which tackles the idea of story itself and its impact on our lives. It isn’t always successful and is definitely a very weird book.

What Entropy Means to Me. George Alec Effinger. The sci-fi series that’s exploding in popularity. Doctor, watch out! As Dore stood by, he saw the Doctor backing slowly into the corner where he would meet his fate. Take two astronauts time-warped 1000 years into the future to find human civilization destroyed and the Apes in control-and you have a terrifying vision of what the world may someday be like: The Orangutans rule. The clever Chimpanzees are the administrators and bureaucrats.

George A. Effinger was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947. Effinger revels, and I mean gloriously revels, in metafictional experimentation

George A. He attended Yale University, where an organic chemistry course disabused him of the notion of becoming a doctor. He had the opportunity to meet many of his science fiction idols thanks to his first wife, who was Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm’s babysitter. Effinger revels, and I mean gloriously revels, in metafictional experimentation. The result is a x homage to the the act of literary creation. The novel will especially appeal to readers who love to read about the act of writing, readers who have previously tried their hand at writing, and those aware of the history of literature (Medieval Romance, etc).

George Alec Effinger - What Entropy Means to Me.

George Alec Effinger - Naked to the Invisible Eye. Effinger George Alec. George Alec Effinger - What Entropy Means to Me. Read. Report an error in the book. Nebula Award Finalist Doctor, watch out! As Dore stood by, he saw the Doctor backing slowly into the corner where he would meet his fate.

Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read What Entropy Means to Me. it's a colossal radish! This is a monster never before wrestled with; what are they going to do? After reading this vegetative tale, you won't look at your garden the same way again.

Doctor, watch out! As Dore stood by, he saw the Doctor backing slowly into the corner where he would meet his fate. Initially defending himself with a torch, the Doctor searched frantically for a new method of defense. The crimson mass is lunging forward using long, tentacle-like attachments: what is that thing? Slowly the subhuman blob comes in to focus, and Dore realizes . . . it's a colossal radish! This is a monster never before wrestled with; what are they going to do? After reading this vegetative tale, you won't look at your garden the same way again..
Can I really be the first reviewer of this funny, sometimes infuriating, always enjoyable & satiric science-fiction novel, the first in George Alec Effinger's all too short career?

Don't mistake "satiric" for glib snarkiness, though. This is definitely a young man's novel, particularly a young man who came of age in the late 1960s/early 1970s, influenced by the times & the New Wave in science-fiction. It merrily plays with the tropes of the Quest, while exploring the nature of stories & storytelling -- and with the young author's erudition in full flower. But it's never annoying. You can feel Effinger's enthusiasm & delight as he spins his tale (within a tale).

We quickly meet the two protagonists: the brothers Dore & Seyt. Dore has been sent forth on a quest up the River, in search of his lost Father. Seyt remains at Home, chronicling his older brother's adventures by simply making them up, chapter by chapter, even as he deals with his many siblings -- particularly the smarmy, detestable Tere. And he keeps us informed of each new chapter's reception by his Family, and the resulting political dynamic, always in flux.

Dore is something of a Candide, a noble & trusting young man ... or is that simply the Dore that Seyt has created in his chronicle? The Romance of the Quest gets a thorough & often hilarious examination -- after all, we're reading chapters entitled "The Radishes of Doom" & "The Hall of the Mountain Thing," and meeting heroic sidekicks named Bucky. Yet even at its most ridiculous, we remain enthralled, wanting to know what happens next -- both to Dore & to Seyt.

Truthfully, it's a rich & wonderfully absurd coming of age novel -- not just for the characters, but for the author as well. Luckily it's been reprinted recently, so it's easily available once more. Science-fiction fan or not, if you're looking for something a little different, a little challenging, and a lot of fun, then you're in for a treat. Most highly recommended!

Enigmatic and baffling, a fun read. Is the narrator mad or merely unreliable? Or is it the world that's mad or unreliable? Shifts between the narrator's narration and his experience of telling the tale add layers upon layers. I had a feeling similar to when I read Riddley Walker, though that work is quite a different thing altogether.

This novel is very much of it's time (riding the crest of the New Wave in SF), but unlike many of the experimental works of that period, this one still holds up. Wish I'd found this one forty years ago when I started looking for it; I'd have probably read it at least ten times by now.

What Entropy Means to Me (1972) is one of the more satisfying products of the New Wave science fiction movement of the 60s and 70s that I've read. I place it in the pantheon of Malzberg's Revelations (1972), Samuel Delany's Nova (1968), and Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar (1968). Effinger revels, and I mean gloriously revels, in metafictional experimentation. The result is a multi-layered/complex homage to the the act of literary creation. The novel will especially appeal to readers who love to read about the act of writing, readers who have previously tried their hand at writing, and those aware of the history of literature (Medieval Romance, etc).

I found Effinger's themes are appealing and through provoking: the destructive and creative power of the written word, mythologizing, ascribing/creating theology, and the strange malleability and power of memory. Throughout the novel Effinger gloriously subverts the genre of the fantasy quest, takes satirical jabs at hagiography and religion, and pokes fun at what he sees as the excesses of literary criticism.

Brief Plot Summary/Analysis (*some spoilers*)

Seyt is one of many brothers and sisters- it is difficult to tell if they're all directly related-descended from Our Parents (Our Father + Our Mother), the first settlers on the planet Home. Subsequent families are named in order of their arrival on the planet. Over time the characters of Our Father and Our Mother are ascribed by their children certain mystical and holy properties. For unexplained reasons, Our Father leaves the family and heads up The River. Dore, the eldest son, is sent by Our Mother to retrieve him. Our Mother dies in sorrow, crying continuously on her "throne" in the yard. The entire story of the arrival on the Planet Home and the backstories for how and why Our Mother and Our Father were forced of Earth are shrouded in legend. But they appear to be debtors who were deported. Their subsequent deification further obscures the account.

Seyt is asked by the family to write a history of Dore's journey to seek Our Father. Without doubt Seyt loves to tell outlandish stories and discuss his own allegorical frameworks which may or may not exist. The novel contains three simultaneous narratives which Effinger interweaves with a delightful ease. First, Seyt's invented account of Dore's journey to seek Our Father. Second, the family's reactions to and the ramifications of Seyt's story as he is writing it. And third, Seyt's recounting of the Family's past which are often tangents attached to the story of Dore's quest.

Of course, no one has any idea of what actually happened on Dore's quest because he has not returned. For all they know, he died in a nearby ditch. Seyt has conflicting motives for writing: first he claims to just be "telling a story; [because] some of [his] family want to forget that Our Parents and Dore were people, too. They walked around and stubbed their toes and performed bodily functions. Except Our Mother, of course; she just cried" (48). Other times he suggests much more lofty reasons for writing, "I do not intend this history to be merely a collection of simulated exploits. There is in it the potential for a truly useful homiletic too" (55). As in, the story as part of the official religious canon containing useful maxims, morals, and lessons...

The family is transfixed by what Seyt is writing: he recounts, "standing behind me are my bothers Jelt, Wole, and Niln, and my sisters Aniatrese, Lalichë, Ateichál, and Dúnilaea. They follow my pen across the page like spectators at a very slow tennis match" (27). At first Seyt is overwhelmed by the "luxurious feeling it is to get up and know that you've become a celebrity overnight" (25).

Over time Seyt's family divides into two camps: "there is a sharper division among my brothers and sisters. some intrigued by my imagination, others put off by the implausibility and the "misrepresentations" (46). Dore, considered a holy figure, often is tempted, or easily duped, or gives in to his baser desires on his quest. These stories are interpreted literally by some members of his family who see him violating the sacred figure.

Likewise, the figure of Our Mother is a point of contention. Why Our Mother perpetually cries is unclear. According to Dore's final explanation (potential fabrication) of the reason for the trip to Home as supposedly told by Our Father, Our Father bashed her head with an ice pick (186). Of course, this is also as much of a fabrication as any of Seyt's other stories because he cannot possibly know. Seyt's underlying motive reason for his iconoclastic portrayals of Our Mother is his claim that it is "dangerous to romanticize her faults. Surely I am not the only one who will remember them" (35). Seyt recounts a bizarre story where Our Mother emerges from her "veils of tears" in order to perform a practically demonstration on how to treat the rebuffed suitor and abandoned mistress: "we improved our stills upon a lifelike dummy, "treating" it for shock, water and smoke inhalation, and unrequited affection" (59). This develops into "what she called her Sorrow Drill" -- whenever the children feel the "poisons of heartache they were to dress in dirty garments and go around barefoot (59-60)." Seyt's literary treatment of Our Parents and Dore infringe on the community's commonly held beliefs.

Seyt's story of Dore, which forms half of the novel, takes on the shape of an allegory-heavy medieval quest narrative purposely subverted. A mysterious figure, Glorian of The Wisdom enters the narrative whenever Dore is in trouble. Dore confronts Dr. Dread and his gigantic vegetable monsters, falls for damsels in distress, plays games in mock war for various warlords, replays Greek legend, etc. Seyt himself is an awful storyteller. The characters are constantly changing, the action is told hastily with endless discussion of all the symbolic qualities -- often incredibly obvious ones.

This is due to the fact that whenever a family member finds a fault in his narrative, often conveyed in the form of a written message passed to him, Seyt modified the allegories, the meanings, the characters, their actions... Seyt has to be constantly aware of how the story he is telling will be interpreted by various members of the family. For example, "Laliché is reading this as I write; she suggests that I am subconsciously introducing an overtly phallic symbol here. I don't think so. For me to have Dore meet and overcome a symbol of his masculinity would be to metaphorically castrate our sacred brother. We wouldn't want Ateichál to read that; she always dug Dore's body" (81).

The story of Dore becomes the most talked about topic of discussion. It is even merchandized! As the family reads Seyt's version story of Dore's journey their own beliefs become increasingly radicalized as they are forced to either come to grips with his portrayals or react against them. Eventually an entire theology is developed between the figures of Dore, Our Father, and the River (of course, Effinger is pulling in Medieval arguments -- and later one -- on the nature of the Trinity):

"There are several whose varient ideas may lead to corruption of straight thinking. For instance, Chel speaks of the idenity of Dore's two missions. The bery elevation of Dore's quest for Riverlore to an equality with his reunion with Our Father is a bold heresy. But Chel takes the Terian error further. He equates the three offices of the River -- Water, Channel, and the ineffable Current -- with the three members of our pantheon. Our Father, he claims, is the fleshy manifestation of the River's sacred and life giving fluid. When it is given direction, as Our Father's essence was through the agency of Our Mother, the result is a Current, a force, in which our experience it is Dore, who proceeds from our Father and is made appreciable to us by Our Mother [...]" 148.

Seyt himself treads a difficult line. His own exuberance in telling the story often causes him to ignore the ramifications of how he tells it. He is routinely accused of heresy but his quick rewrites and reconceptualization can only appease the critics for so long. Eventually he too must undertake a quest up the River to seek out Our Father and Dore, but who will be the official historian who writes about his journey? And so begins, and endless descent into entropy...

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