Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mandelbrot the Magnificent, by Liz Ziemska

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(Historical Fantasy) An account of how the young Benoit Mandelbrot learned he could affect physical reality with his mathematics and how he tried to mount a defense against the Nazi’s in France. (20,135 words; Time: 1h:07m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

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

Pro: This is pretty much a coming-of-age story, in which Benoit masters his craft and protects his family from the Nazi’s, albeit at the expense of causing all the neighbors to temporarily lose their homes.

The development of Benoit’s character is probably the biggest charm of the story.
I can follow most of the math, and what I can interpret is all correct. (Not that you can really use it to make force fields, of course.)

And it’s satisfying that Vallat gets his comeuppance at the end.

Con: Besides Benoit, the other characters are rather flat.

The “wrapper” (the intro and epilogue) don’t really add to the story.

Young Benoit’s powers are a little too strong, so there’s no real tension.

Most readers are likely to hate the detailed equations, which don't actually add to the story.

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Liz Ziemska Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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