RE: Egan dismisses Singularity, maybe

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Apr 29 2002 - 20:05:01 MDT

At 01:38 PM 4/29/02 -0600, Mike LaTorra wrote:

>criticized science fiction novels that end with what he termed a
>"transcendental blowout." He mentioned specific works, including Clarke's

>he got Clarke's permission to re-write and extend the storyline in
>Clarke's THE CITY AND THE STARS. I had read the original many years ago and
>absolutely loved it. I read Benford's version and was revolted.

Agreed. However Greg's sequel was not to THE CITY AND THE STARS, but to the
simpler novella that had preceded it by a decade, `Against the Fall of
Night'. (Novella and novel were, however, structurally equivalent, with the
same outcome.) I blame myself for this disaster; had I been a bit quicker
off the mark, none of this would have happened.

You'll find in Clarke's introduction to their joint volume that I'd sought
his permission to sequel CITY AND THE STARS around the same time, but had
been pipped at the post by Gregory (whose credentials, after all, were
better than mine; he's a professor of physics with expertise in the
mathematics of closed spacetimes). Later, I asked Arthur if I could do it
*right*, now (his commentary suggests that I might be allowed to take my
own shot at the novel in another decade, which has now come and gone);
alas, his ferocious agent refuses to let me through the door.

Anyway, Benford is in my debt (our debt, arguably) for another reason; I
know him slightly, and when he was in Oz a couple of years ago he read THE
SPIKE and strongly recommended it to the New York publisher who then
brought out the revised, updated edition. So when it comes to the
Singularity posit *in the real world*, Greg is not altogether agin it.

I suppose the sf Greg who came closest to the pure Singularity quill is
Greg Bear, in BLOOD MUSIC.

Damien Broderick

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