Self Reference ENGINE Summary ï 109

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Self Reference ENGINEToh EnJoe’s prize winning fiction is well known in Japan for crossing the streams from hardcore science fi. This is the sort of the book that will either blow your mind or leave you confused and annoyed Unfortunately I fall into the latter category Self Reference ENGINE is not a novel not an anthology; it is a SELF REFERENCE ENGINE What it is is very weird science fiction surrealism with a thin thread of I won't call it a plot like a theme or some common ideas running through disjointed chapters that sometimes refer to one another and sometimes seem dropped in at random from some other bookAt the heart of the book is the giant corpora of knowledge collections of artificial intelligences that exist in the future but became extinct in the past become uite upset to realize they don't actually exist triggered an Event that split the universe into an infinite number of realities and are visited by a star man named Alpha Centauri who tells them very politely that they are unfortunately a bit inconvenient and will need to be pushed out of the way I suspect that tones of Hitchhiker's Guide were not coincidental there are a lot of other in jokes for serious literary and sci fi geeksOriginally written in Japanese by a theoretical physicist Toh EnJoe is a pen name and translated into English I think much of my problem with this book was the translation The tone and cadence of language changes dramatically for example the constant repetition of the phrase giant corpora of knowledge there are actually in book explanations why they can't simply be referred to as computers or AIs but also the style does not flow in English I've read other Japanese books in translation and know that sometimes even the best translation can be a little choppy or odd Japanese literature is just different from Western writing but I didn't have this problem with Murakami or Abe or Kawabata Still I suspect even if I read it in the original Japanese I'd have found this book hard to get through despite being fairly shortThere are lots of very bizarre and interesting ideas from uantum physics to alternate realities Zeno's Paradox and time travel mechanics get passing mentions but what will probably stick with you are the arguments with a sentient bobby sock the girl who fires a bullet into the future that one of the narrators worries will be aimed at one of his testicles and the giant corpora of knowledge that are recursive and matrioshka like and sometimes take the form of old Japanese men in a traditional print shop and sometimes are like constructs out of the MatrixReading this was an experience I just can't call it a fun experience It's worth looking at because it's probably unlike anything you've read before but it seems like one of those books destined to become a cult favorite by the elitist of nerds who will look down their noses at you if you claim you like Japanese science fiction Oh yeah they'll sneer I'll bet you mean weaboo shit like Gundam and Battle Royale And of course Haruki Murakami is for hipsters But read some Toh EnJoe man that's real Nipponophile credI wish I'd liked this book It's of those books that leaves you with the disuieting feeling that maybe you just weren't smart enough to appreciate it

Toh EnJoe À 9 Summary

Zle of a book where vignette and story and philosophy combine to create a novel designed like a concept albu. I read this book in March 2014 and the experienced stopped me in my tracks at Goodreads as I wasn't ready to write a review for it yet and I kept postponing I wanted it to be a thorough review because it's such a fantastic book I've recommended it widely to people especially if they're interested in innovative SF that experiments with form is something uniue So I'm going to let go of my great review plans and just say it's absolutely fantastic People should really read this one if any one It's a classic

review Self Reference ENGINE

Self Reference ENGINE Summary ï 109 ✓ Toh EnJoe’s prize winning fiction is well known in Japan for crossing the streams—from hardcore science fiction to bizarre surrealism—and has found an audience across the genre divide Self Reference ENGINE is a puzzle of a book where vignette and story and philosophy combine to create a novel designeCtion to bizarre surrealism and has found an audience across the genre divide Self Reference ENGINE is a puz. The genre of ideasHow often have we heard science fiction fantasy c described as such Isn't that the great justification for volunteering ourselves to the genre ghetto for ignoring the Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates to focus on the Hugo Nebula and World Fantasy Award winners insteadBut it's frustrating; for all this talk about science fiction being a genre of ideas there don't seem to be a whole lot of ideas going aroundEnter Toh EnJoe A physicist A novelist And not simply a science fiction novelist either Toh EnJoe has won accolades not only for his theoretically informed and highly imaginative takes on the science fiction genre but also for his work in what genre detractors and defenders alike describe as the literary His debut novel Self Reference ENGINE puts on display his knowledge as a physicist his imagination as a storyteller and his skill as a writer all of which exist in abundant uantitiesUnlike many popularly palatable titles this book has ideas and they flow in abundanceEnJoe has been compared favourably to many of the literary surrealists – Borges and Schultz come up freuently But there's to EnJoe than tricks of whimsy and gimmicks of style The most captivating and inspirational part of Self Reference ENGINE isn't just that EnJoe treats the reader to mind bending stories that makes one uestion the fabric of reality but that his tales are based solidly on scientific understanding When EnJoe's characters ruminate on the possibility of whether there is almost surely an infinite number of their duplicates or when godlike computer systems find themselves struggling against one another to make space time move the right direction the firm grounding of mathematical and physics based theory permeates Causality uantum uncertainty infinity string theory and the multiverse popular topics in science fiction all but rarely have they been considered with such depth and imagination EnJoe's displays his comfort with advanced physics but he does not weigh his work down with it He melds his knowledge with his imagination to create stories that broaden horizons and work out the brainA sense of wonder pervades Self Reference ENGINE Perhaps even a sense joyfulness The strangeness of the characters the incidences the events and the Event celebrates the wonder of both the universe and the human predicament within it At times EnJoe does veer towards being perhaps too clever as not all of the parts of this book match each other in terms of humour accessibility and creativity but even at his weakest EnJoe shows himself than capable of challenging and engaging the reader Self Reference ENGINE perhaps defies convention too much; many readers approach it expecting science fiction and finding instead both science and fiction not a hyphenated and rigid boundary set by publishing marketers and niche enthusiasts but two entities married in a strange and wondrous way that could be disappointing if one comes with pre conceived expectations and narrow horizons Self Reference ENGINE deserves to be celebrated however by those who love the wonder of the natural world and the strangeness of living within it and for the discerning reader there are delights and challenges that make this novel worth reading relishing and reading again