Monday, September 21, 2015

Asymptotic, by Andy Dudak

Clarkesworld Magazine, June 2015; 7,507 words
Rating: 2, Not recommended

Intergalactic policeman enforces Einstein's speed limit, but suffers the side effects of violating it himself.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

It's a very elaborate concept, and the search for Phlogiston (the imaginary substance alchemists believed was released when a body burned) adds some interest, as does the realization that Phlogiston has found a way out of the relativity debt problem.

Sadly, the whole concept is ridiculous. The author clearly has no understanding of relativity at all. For example, he says a 10 minute journey at 0.9999917c would take 2.7 million years of time in the rest frame. The real number is closer to 40 hours. He also seems a bit confused about the scale of the universe. He has people travelling between galaxies as casually as between stars. Finally, he mixes in a lot of fantasy science talk, e.g. "spin foam," that makes it impossible to suspend disbelief.

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