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The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogonal, #1), The Eternal Flame (Orthogonal, #2), The Arrows of Time (Orthogonal #3), and The Orthogonal Trilogy (Orthogonal #). The Orthogonal Universe gets its name from the trilogy set in it. It’s a universe with a consequences). It’s extensively documented on Greg Egan’s homepage. More details at ยท share| improve this answer. answered Jul 17 ’16 at Greg Egan.

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But that’s no stranger than saying that a vertical pole has an ‘infinite slope’: The whole reason why I read sci-fi is to escape beyond the constraints of the laws of physics. I chose this book to get familiar with his longer fiction and it resulted in not being a good choice; I was attracted to it because it is the first in a trilogy about events happening in another universe, one with different physical laws: But the Future-Up plane is one we’re treating as a single complex number, so if the luxagen field remains within that plane, it hasn’t really undergone any physical change.

Greg Egan does this story due credit. The characters are flat as usual, but you don’t read Egan for his emotional themes, and at least they’re a little bit less flat than usual this time. Some of this is simply down to Egan being Egan but, going by the afterword, there’s also a specific issue that he takes with a famous Tegmark paper page 19 of the PDF, mildly spoilery as it pertains to unphysical properties of elliptic partial differential equations I’m not kidding and which seems to have gotten wound up too deeply in the plot too early during the book’s conception for the issue to be elided assuming Egan would have been willing to listen to reason in the first place.

For example, the reproductive role of females leads some people to believe their fundamental duty is to remain under male protection, and yield their flesh to the coming generation: To ask other readers questions about The Clockwork Rocketplease sign up.


This time the premise — that relativistic time dilation works the other way around — is worth well over a full book, and Orthoglnal does a marvelous job building a world and plot around it. Now if that is not science fiction at its hardest core, I don’t know what is. However on its own, it still stands suitably complete, and will satisfy the orthogona.

If you are not in either of those two camps, The Clockwork Rocket is most definitely not for you and Orthkgonal makes no apology for that. When the very othogonal people in orthoognal writers’ group came upon the word orthogonwl in my novel Wednesday’s Childthey shrieked and insisted that I remove it wherever possible.

The latter is mostly accomplished again, in Egan’s signature style by having a few scientifically-inclined Mr.

Orthogonal (Literature) – TV Tropes

However, were this novel merely an amusing exercise for the physics lover, I would not have persevered. That said, the book is written in such a way that any sciencey bits can be skipped by readers willing to admit defeat.

Greg Egan – The Clockwork Rocket.

Fans of hard SF will love the complexity, rigor, and comprehensiveness of Egan’s world building. If you’re into physics and math, this is the book for you. It is really cool that Egan’s alternative rules of physics make this plausible.

So despite being almost twice as big as the normal female – and females are considerably bigger than males here for obvious biological reasons – and not expected to reproduce – ie be quartered in four – in the usual age range due to the lack of a twin mate, so being potentially of huge help on the family farm, Yalda gets to go to school and later is admitted to the university in one of the cities that form the civilization of the planet.


Refresh and try again. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The end of the book has a couple of appendices and an afterword.

Jul 05, James Cox rated it liked it. So what’s the rest of the novel like? Through the story, Egan explores the higher-order ramifications that change has on the laws of physics and, by extension, on nearly every other discipline of science.


Mar 11, John rated it really liked it. Egan invents his own physics in this book. The characters, their biology, their values, and their exploits are all interesting enough.

So we find the time elsewhere. The book follows the “solo” Yalda – ie she “ate” her twin in the womb as the other “normal” children tease her – from a farmer family but who is lucky enough to have a father who appreciates learning and who has promised Yalda’s mother to school any of the offspring that shows inclination.

Quotes from The Clockwork Rocket.

But Yu’s book focuses on the internal and emotional experience of his everyman character. While contemporary sf is very diverse, encompassing everything from space opera to near-future to alt-history and steampunk, when I think of “pure sf” as the genre has originally evolved to intermix scientific speculation with literature, there are only two authors of today that stand at the top and one of them is Greg Egan whose superb far-future novels like Incandescence, Schild’s Ladder or Diaspora combine the egwn edge of today’s science with entertaining story-lines.