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Old March 18 2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: TOS: Spock Must Die! by James Blish [SPOILERS]

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Spock Must Die! has a good story, its narrative dominated by the compelling philosophical question about the nature of individuality in an era of matter duplication and an exciting astropolitics of battle against the Klingons, stitched together by plausible-sounding physics.
Hmm, I found the physics to be highly implausible, at least in one key area. The rationale for tachyons as the particles of thought was ridiculous. We don't imagine distant objects by sending FTL particles to get a radar picture of them, or remember things in the past by sending particles back through time. We store memories in our brains and we imagine things based on information and concepts already in our memories. Otherwise we'd always remember or imagine everything perfectly, which certainly isn't the case. I've always found that claim in the book to be one of the most preposterous things I've ever seen proposed in an SF novel.

In other respects, Blish's writing betrays the attitude of his times somewhat, specifically in terms of gender, most notably when the female crew are imagined by Blish's Kirk to be fascinated sexually by Spock.
Well, that was just a reflection of the fact that female viewers of the show were fascinated sexually by Spock. He was a huge sex symbol at the time, and this got a lot of attention in the media, probably more than any other aspect of the show. So I don't think Blish was projecting any sexist assumptions onto things; he was just reflecting the reality he perceived, namely that Spock was fascinating to women.

Still, I have picked up on two references in later novels, the first possible and the second almost certain, both in Duane novels.

* The Hilbert space with energies that one Spock taps to an improvised warp drive sounds much like the De Sitter space accessed by K't'lk in The Wounded Sky and Duane's later novels.
That wasn't a Spock Must Die! reference. Rather, Hilbert space and de Sitter space are both concepts from real theoretical physics. They're similar in that they're both generalizable to an unlimited number of dimensions.

* More compellingly, in Spock's World Kirk comes across a posting by Uhura in the ship's BBS asking for tourist dictionaries in a variety of languages, including one for the Dalton recension of the Eurish language of James Joyce that Uhura used to communicate with Starfleet Command.
Couldn't they both have been independently referencing Joyce?
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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