Blue Tyson (bluetyson) wrote,
Blue Tyson
bluetyson

Reification Highway - Greg Egan

Short Story


Number of words : 5200
Percent of complex words : 12.2
Average syllables per word : 1.6
Average words per sentence : 12.9


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 10.0
Flesch : 62.2
Flesch-Kincaid : 7.8



PEOPLE

Elena

A multiversal trader.

Khali

Elena's thirteen year old child.



Robert Chalmer

A multiversal trader who found a giant logic lode.

Turing

A computer programmer.


PLACES

Chalmer's Rock

Place where he previously scored big, twenty thousand light years from Earth, where Earth exists. Elena is obsessed with this across the multiverse.


TECHNOLOGY

Exoskin

A sophisticated thin bioelectronic spacesuit

Reified logic

Not made of atoms, has no nuclei. It experienced gravity, and electromagnetism -
allowing it to embed in ordinary matter and able to be handled-but it didn't feel the strong force, so neutrons passed right through it. Altered logic could undermine almost any law of physics - although most often, it was simply used to pump out a quantity of energy limited only by the ingenuity of the logic engineers.

Body Adaptation

Could recycle their own metabolites almost endlessly, phosphorylating ADP by an alternative pathway powered by alpha decay. Inside specialized liver cells, clusters of plutonium atoms were wrapped in giant multi-layered enzymes. which stole energy from the alpha particles in small enough increments to avoid being torn apart.

Portable surveying unit

Logs gravimetric data.

Nanoware replicators

Tiny self-building machines, useful for mining but can be dangerous.

Infrared spectroscopy probe

Used for determining the composition of materials.


VEHICLES

Stalker

Their ship.



PLOT

Elena and Khali are multiversal traders. Khali is her genetically enginereed child. They are enhanced humans. Through faster than light travel by ship and wormholes they move from universe to universe. Among other gear traded, Elena is obsessed with mining Reified Logic and a particular lode Robert Chalmer found. A rare substance that can be used to do almost anything, like provide huge amounts of power or actually change the laws of physics.

When in this universe they travel to this version of Chalmer's Rock, they find strangeness, possible nanotechnology and conditions that can make their actual ideas and logic reality. If everything can be a Thing, what about the primitive basal levels of their minds? They run. Khali is badly freaked out until Elena decks her so they can leave.


4 out of 5
Tags: greg egan, multiverse, science fiction, short story
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