DOWNLOAD Other Days Other Eyes
DOWNLOAD Other Days Other Eyes
Tact lenses was he testing to see if his publisher would notice the illogicality There s a surprisingly smutty sex scene that seems there primarily to keep the writer s interest from flagging and here s the moment when Garrod has the flash of insight that enables him to solve the first of the two murder mysteriesHis knees felt loose his heart had lapsed into an nsteady lumping rhythm and a chill extended downward from stomach to groin In his head there was a pressure which rapidly built Daddys Boy up to a peak and exploded in a kind of psychic orgasm p96It never happened to Elleryeen Isshinryu Chinto Kata uite like that I m pretty sure 4 stars for creeping me out with it s prescience We don t have slow glass but we have cameras everywhere and social media pressurings to relieve Karens Best Friend us of our own privacy for the edification of people who shouldn t matter tos anyway Some bits of excellent writing flashes of beautifully crafted sentences and images that will stay with me a while Sexist in the way that SFF in the 70s all seemed to be but not jarring enough that it removed me from the story Sigh I really do need to get back to longer better reviews My appreciation for Bob Shaw is growing Second book of his I ve read that deal with optics blindness and vision Alban Garrod is a scientist that discovered some sort of glass that delays the passage of visible radiation through it A series of intertwined plots regarding the glass properties applied to criminal cases and the main character s struggle to free himself from the shackles of a marriage for convenience are well narrated in this slim tomeThe bonus Jane Wason Gosh I want of her At last year s Boring conference a concrete enthusiast demonstrated a block which did some very strange things with light and made me think of Bob Shaw s slow glass a crystal which lets light through but only minutes or years after the event so that you re left with a literal window on the past This book features his original short stories on the theme included as sidelights in a short novel about the inventor of slow glass Which serves largely to confirm that the short stories or at least the first two were much satisfying poignant vignettes sing this one sort of plausible sounding technology as a perfect reification of that human need to revisit the past and of the way that need can trap s Imagine if you could look at your wall and see the snows of yesteryear right there And of course to some extent you now can there are all sorts of ways we re now closer to a slow glass world than we were when this was published in 1972 from catch Descent into Chaos up TV and Facebook memories through big HD screens with moving screensavers to thebiuity of tiny surveillance devices That last one is particularly intriguing in a manner recalling the way Bester or Niven worked through the social conseuences of teleportation Shaw does likewise with slow glass and envisions meetings held in pitch darkness where all high flyers have to learn braille Perfectly sound science fictional thinking but nah turns out we re not actually that fussed we just got Edmund Wilson used to leaks and saved the darkness for novelty restaurants Beyond that you have thesual charming errors for this era of SF videophones but no mobiles as well as some less charming ones especially on the gender roles Even for the time the shrewish suffocating wilfully ignorant wife seems pretty retrograde and as for the lowly but lovely worker the wealthy protagonist propositions repeatedly on a work callI suspect that would have been winceworthy well before Weinstein Not that the men have much depth to them in the novel at least they re all fairly interchangeable men s men from the school of B movie business andor science But sod the people it s those farms of slow windows drinking in the views that make this book the panes of daylight replacing the electric light above the freeway Plus in my own little window on the past I now finally have my own copy of one of the yellow Gollancz SF hardbacks Is it an anthology or a fix Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, up Does it matter Shaw camep with a simple idea which in the hands of another author may have resulted in one decent story Shaw does than that He spends time thinking through the implications not for great pyrotechnical sci fi effect but for ordinary people the small differences that one thing one invention can make to a life Shaw Just Once (The Runaways, used to refer to these clever ideas and the development of them as the wee thinky bits and learned tose them to great effect as here where the human drama plays out against a background of one of the cleverest and simplest concepts in SF This book was written in 1972 A book I read and liked in my teens so I decided to re read to see how it has survived the passage of timeThe concept behind the book is brilliant a scientist invents a form of glass so dense that light can take years to pass through With experimentation the project is commercialised to produce a new product slow glass Ten year slow glass windows for example can be set over a beautiful harbour or mountain view for a decade storing the images for playback 10 years later After 10 years the glass can be installed in household windows to playback that view for the next decade The rban city dweller can have a decade of beautiful country views as the light makes its way through the glas. Ars It stopped being a toy when great new jeliners began to crash caraccidents multiplied astronomically and a mounting toll of deaths and disasters revealed its true potential And it was.
Bob Shaw s story Light of Other Days 1966 is one of the great classics of science fiction In a mere ten pages or so it succeeded in introducing a brand new concept to sf a rarer even than many of s would like to think while also generating a genuine and very poignant feeling of empathy for its central character who is not its narrator A suabbling couple are driving through the Scottish Highlands when they come across a slow glass farm Slow glass is a crystalline structure through which to simplify light passes very slowly it can thus be sed to observe past scenes The farmer is allowing sheets of the stuff to absorb the light from the spectacular local countryside so that purchasers can take them home to watch those scenes over the months and years to come As the couple haggle with each other a young woman and an infant watch them from time to time from the farmhouse window By story s end they discover that these are the farmer s wife and child killed six years ago by a hit and run driver The slow glass in his window is preserving for him the illusion that they re still alive But for how much longerShaw published two slow glass stories both good though neither as powerful as the first Burden of Proof 1967 a barbaric judge sentences a convicted murderer to die even though in five years the proof of the man s innocence may emerge on the far side of a pane of slow glass and A Dome of Many Colored Glass 1972 a sadistic Chinese official torments a prisoner by fixing to his eyes slow glass modules containing footage of Western atrocities like My Lai There was also a late and very different addendum to the corpus The Edge of Time 1979 co authored with Malcolm Harris and published in an anthology edited by yours truly Aries 1 Here the conceit is that there are not one but two time dimensions Presence and Change and that what s really expanding in our expanding niverse is the Change dimension Serflike pilots take investigatory craft to the boundaries of this bubble and flirt with the skin of the time so as to send back scientific data One of these pilots his instruments destroyed by sabotage ses the onboard slow glass cunningly in order to plot his way home or so at least he thinksBack in those days if you wrote a successful series of stories the next thing you did was construct out of them a novel or a fixup as the CluteNicholls Encyclopedia of Science Fiction somewhat ngraciously called this mercenary literary form Shaw s slow glass fixup Other Days Other Eyes was one of his clumsier efforts The three primary stories are thrown in as interspersed sidelights and have nothing aside from slow glass in common with the rest of the plot which sees Al Garrod the inadvertent inventor of slow glass transform himself into a plutocrat industrialist while developing new techniues to enhance the stuff s versatility and sefulness In the process he must deal with his bitch wife solve two pretty implausible murder mysteries only one of which involves slow glass finally bring a somewhat gauche and jejune extramarital romance to its consummation and in general fill enough pages for the publishers to market this as a full length novel This framing material does take the opportunity to fix a few technical glitches with the original concept such as explaining why light passing through the slow glass at an angle doesn t take perceptibly longer to reach the other side but it almost entirely ducks ntil the very end the practical and ethical problems generated by the introduction of any widespread means of looking into the past the havoc of suddenly creating the ltimate surveillance society as envisaged by Isaac Asimov in his 1956 novella The Dead Past and vastly expanded pon by Arthur C Clarke and Steve Baxter in their 2000 novel The Light of Other Days Towards the end of Other Days Other Eyes there s a nod to this concern via occasional mention of a vigilante style Privacy League which runs around throwing bricks through slow glass windows but it s only in the final pages when Garrod discovers the government has been spraying the entire nation with slow glass dust so that no longer can anything at all be kept secret that Shaw properly acknowledges the fell purposes to which his invention could be putThere are occasional moments of high silliness The bitch wife who stupidly blinds herself by refusing to obey Garrod s instructions to make herself scarce from an experiment that s about to blow is given a replacement form of sight in the form of essentially contact lenses made out of slow glass this way she can see again even if everything she sees is a day or two late Watching TV involves a ludicrously elaborate palaver in order to record the soundtrack and synchronize it with her watching But if that techniue can be made to work I hear you cry why not simply make the lenses out of ordinary glass so she could see everything in real time It s not a estion I can answerShaw was rarely if ever a tedious writer so the pages of Other Days Other Eyes kept turning rapidly enough but here he seems to be bored as if writing the fixup was not something he actually wanted to do but ndertook merely in order to keep agent publisher and bank manager happy I wonder if he had his tongue firmly in his cheek when writing about the slow glass con. Slow glass was an amusing scientific toy Light traveled through it so slowly that looking through a pane of it you might see what had happened five minutes ago on the other side or five ye.
Summary Other Days Other Eyes
S The concept is brilliant and The Ascent of Man uniue The book reads as a loose collection of short stories centred around the glass murder mysteries played out years later through the slow glass windowsIn summary the book still entertains The concept remainsniue and the sub stories remain entertaining One aspect that does stand out is the brevity of the story telling the book is 160 pages and packs into its covers than most modern 1000 page blockbusters A short book that makes you think much better than the inane verbiage of modern writers Bob Shaw had a story to tell several actually and managed it succinctly If only modern writers had the same clarity of thought and story telling Page count does not euate to originality or talent Science fiction writers often miss out on the credit they re due for correctly predicting the future just because they got one niggling little detail wrong No fan of hard SF should have been surprised by WikiLeaks it was obvious that sooner or later technology was going to make it impossible to keep secrets The only The Grand Sophy uestion was the nature of the technologysedWell TL Sherred probably got there first with his classic 1947 short E For Effort and then there was Isaac Asimov in 1956 with The Dead Past In both of these stories people invent a gizmo time viewer or chronoscope depending on the version which allows you to view arbitrary scenes from the past Of course the past starts just a microsecond ago so you can also see the present and spy on everyone Both Sherred and Asimov see the government as grabbing the invention and Winners Dream using it for their nefarious ends Then in this 1972 novel Shaw comesp with a new method The hero accidentally invents a form of glass which slows down light to a crawl Light going in emerges days months or even years later People O viziune a sentimentelor uickly thinkp clever applications You can have street lights that don t need any power just releasing at night the light that came in during the daytime An industry springs Harveys Revised English Grammar up for slow glass picture windows You put the sheet of glass in a scenic location let it soakp several years of pretty views and then sell it to city folks who are tired of looking at the parking lot Eventually people realise that slow glass is the Como agua para chocolate ultimate camera no moving parts at all so it can be microminiaturized and mass produced at low cost Yet another nefarious government sprays slow glass dust everywhere so everyone isnder constant surveillance wherever they are Though bizarrely I think this turns out to be a Good Thing because it lets the hero leave his nasty wife and take p instead with his hot secretary Well it was the early 70sAnyway for whatever reason hardly anyone predicted the rise of the personal computer and the Internet so they missed the obvious solution No need to bend the laws of physics Just make computers so cheap and easy to operate that everyone ses them to store all their sensitive information then link them together in a fast network that allows a disgruntled employee to send a thousand pages worth of dirt around the world in a couple of seconds Amazing we didn t think of that But honestly does it matter I think Sherred Asimov and Shaw essentially figured it out before the rest of s even realised there might be a problem A for alertness And how come not one journalist this week has mentioned them Other Days Other Eyes is another of those forgotten 70s science fiction novels that I ve been hunting down recently This was one of Bob Shaw s sci fi classics as it explored this new concept of slow glass an innovative type of glass that could record and store events which take place before it to reveal them months or years later Slow glass manages to do this by slowing down the light that travels through it and thus a whole industry emerges that ses this new level of technology with its inventor a character named Alban Garrod ickly becoming rich and famousYet with fame and wealth comes a whole host of dangers that Garrod has to navigate as the Government decides that it can se slow glass as a form of mass surveillance to spy on the public Big Brother starts to get involved and the plot begins to thicken I liked Other Days Other Eyes as it The Eagles Nest (The New Avengers, utilised a technology that seems so simple and demonstrates how in the wrong hands it can become a force for the destruction of privacy everywhere It s an interesting concept but the book began to feel very rushed half way through and went off on a couple ofnnecessary tangents instead of focusing on the main storyline which would have kept me engaged towards the end However if you like sci fi and Big Brother themes you ll still enjoy it Occasionally you read a science fiction book that not only explores the future but holds p a dark mirror to our past In a series of disturbing and thoughtful vignettes Bob Shaw explores how the invention of slow glass which alters light and enhances perception effects both personal relationships and global privacy Sadly the book is out of print but is definitely worth hunting down This is one of the best science fiction books I have ever read and I read a lot of science fiction I think about this book often The idea of slow glass and its impact on how the characters behave and react to it was very realistic 1010 would recommend to anyone who loves sci fi and introspection. No toy at all when blackmailers discovered how to se it to see into the secret life of any victim and government officials found it could permit surveillance of any person any time anywhe.
Bob Shaw was born in Northern Ireland After working in structural engineering industrial public relations and journalism he became a full time science fiction writer in 1975 Shaw was noted for his originality and wit He was two time recipient in 1979 and 1980 of the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer His short story Light of Other Days was a Hugo Award nominee in 1967 as was his novel The Rag