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SLOW TRAIN TO ARCTURUS

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Apr. 1st, 2010 | 02:18 pm

SLOW TRAIN is out in paperback (I think it came out yesterday, but there seems to be a bit of a breakdown in communications about the when of these things). If you've been putting off buying it until the cheaper version (and trust me on this - I understand 100%) it's now available as such. This is probably my most serious (but of course funny too) book. It is a combination between a serious look at the problems of slower-than-light space travel (1: it's slow, 2:if the place sucks when you get there, well, either you're stuffed or it's very slow again to get going to the next place. 3: A small enclosed biosystem is VERY fragile - and the smaller it is the more fragile. 4: Isolation does funny stuff to societies. As far as I know this first sf book to actually try and write about those basic problems, and offer some possible ways out. I've kept it accessable to a wide readership, but tried to come up with really within present science possible concepts. If you're interested in space you ought to read this book. Being me I was not prepared to just leave it at that -- bright ideas with no story -- so there are another two layers to this book. It's a satire (gee - what a suprise. Dave write a satirical book?) looking both at societies and pre-conceptions about them. From the alien point of view it also deals with sex (which, if you aren't human must seem really bizarre. If you are human it's only bizarre.) And of course there is fast moving race against time story woven through these aspects (I think Harriet Klausner just about managed to grasp the last part). And romance, idealism, and that sort of thing. The book might throw out some ideas to you, to make you think and make up your own mind (if you are capable of thinking, that is) as well as entertain you. But it will entertain.
Let me know what you thought of it.

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Comments {10}

etumukutenyak

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from: etumukutenyak
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
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Well, I loved it..and you've reminded me that I must drop it in front of DJ for him to read.

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davefreer

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from: davefreer
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
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:-)Good.(although he's a little old for the Jesuit maxim:-)) Thank you.

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Brian Williams

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from: groblek
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
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Ooh, thanks for the heads-up. I never did acquire a physical copy as I so often just read the electronic edition of a book, but I've recently acquired a new job, and thus some disposable income for physical books. I quite liked it when I first read Slow Train, and it'll be good to have a copy to hand off to people who haven't read it yet. The biggest drawback to the electronic books is that you can't easily lend them out, I think.

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davefreer

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from: davefreer
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
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some books seem to work better on paper :-) Yes, lending is a hassle. Mind you I don't have a moral objection to people lending - or passing on to sample e-copies. As long as you make it clear that's what is happening. Glad to hear about the job :-)

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from: qbzzt
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I've been known to let people copy ebooks when I know they wouldn't buy the author's books otherwise. But they know the reason, and that I'd expect them to buy the book, or at least the rest of the series.

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davefreer

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from: davefreer
date: Apr. 1st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
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That seems common sense and fair to me. I daresay some publishers would not see it in that light.

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Brian Williams

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from: groblek
date: Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
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I can see that. The problem I run into is that very few people I know read ebooks, so it's much more likely that the book will get read if it's a paper copy.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: May. 2nd, 2010 11:02 am (UTC)
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Sorry Dave, I won't buy the paperback if Slow Train. Because I bought the ARC!

I really liked tho book, vastly different (in a good way) to the Rats books.

Just waiting now for the hardcover version of Much fall of Blood. This has become one of my favourate alt-universe series. Do you have a post on how the Alexandia books are done? 3 way colaberation over the ether?

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voradams

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from: voradams
date: May. 2nd, 2010 11:05 am (UTC)
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Stupid iPhone, thought I was logged in

I endorce the last post :-)

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davefreer

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from: davefreer
date: May. 2nd, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Heh. Well, that's a good reason not to buy the paperback. I think way back there were a few posts on the collaboration process. How it works these days is that I write the first draft - often with 'Eric -insert here' or 'Misty, magic please' and a brief sketch of what is needed, to a pre-agreed outline. The book then does the round robin, to each of us, adding and editing.

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