❴BOOKS❵ ✮ The Speed of Dark Author Elizabeth Moon – Transportjobsite.co.uk

  • Paperback
  • 369 pages
  • The Speed of Dark
  • Elizabeth Moon
  • English
  • 04 July 2017
  • 9780345481399

10 thoughts on “The Speed of Dark

  1. says:

    This book is about as sci fi as an episode of CSI Moon basically takes Flowers for Algernon and hacks off the ending The writing was alright, and there was some interesting characterization, but I suspect it only got the Nebula and Clarke because award committees love nothing as much as political correctness This book is the equivalent of an actor making an Oscar bid by playing a mentally challenged character.I know Moon is a sci fi author, but in this book, it feels like she just stamped on the Sci Fi label in order to draw an audience, or perhaps because her publisher refused to authorize a genre switch I hope that isn t true, because that s always a cheap move This is just modern pop fiction, an emotionally confessional book with a veneer of vaguely near future This wouldn t have been a problem if Moon had used this opportunity to explore human psychology, which was how Algernon and A Clockwork Orange treated this same theme, but she didn t She rehashed half of an interesting idea, and failed to capitalize on it Speculative Fiction has always been obsessed with what makes us human, and how much we can change before we stop being human at all While that should be the main theme of this book, it goes almost unexplored.The climax is rushed and inauthentic We never actually see the character change, we don t witness the effects as they happen, instead they are lightly explained in choppy montage at the end Compared to the rest of the book an internal, step by step presentation of a fairly different mind this sudden, convenient, external ending is disappointing and jarring.The denouement following the climax is particularly tidy, with all the subtlety of the end of an 80 s college movie where we learn through super imposed text that Barry went on to win the Nobel prize to the strains of Simple Minds.And it s a shame, because the story leading up to the climax is interesting enough, presenting the psychological workings of autism Moon researched this disorder much better than Mark Haddon in his laughably flawed Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time , but then, Moon s son is actually autistic There was also a part about fencing, which excited me at first, being a former competitive fencer and coach, but instead, it was just weird SCA dressup boffing Not that I have anything against SCA dressup boffing or do I.It s an alright read, goes pretty quick, and it might give you some insight into brain disorders, but it doesn t tie human experiences together which is really a shame, because other sci fi books have successfully used this topic to ask some very difficult and profound questions about how the future of technology might change the way we think, and about the different ways people process information Flowers for Algernon tackled the exact same themes and was written sixty years before Moon s less profound attempt You d think we d have something to say after sixty years of neurology and psychology, but apparently not It also pales in comparison with A Clockwork Orange , another good light sci fi which explores the morality of changing the way that people think.This book was light and fluffy, especially given its subject matter, and while it will probably make soccer moms feel proud of themselves for reading something so different , it doesn t endeavor to change the way they think about humanity, the mind, or the possibilities within us.

  2. says:

    Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon tells the story of an autistic man in the near future where advances in medical technology have cured many diseases The protagonist is in a small group of people who were born just before these advances and so have grown up in a world where their disability is a close anachronism This is a subtle, introspective work that focuses on psychological, philosophical and theological questions about normality and quality of life I could not help but cast actor Jim Parsons, from The Big Bang Theory, in the role of the hero, and throughout the book his was the voice and face that I imagined as Lou I also was led to compare this work to Look Me in the Eye My Life with Asperger s by John Elder Robison, his non fiction autobiographical work about his life with Asperger s Syndrome as well as Philip K Dick s work Martian Time Slip There is some very thin characterization, almost straw man, that weakens the larger credibility of the narration, but the ending is very good and well worth the time reading.

  3. says:

    I may need to review my top ten shelf and see what can be bumped The Speed of Dark book moved me like few books ever have I cried, I laughed, I didn t want it to end Elizabeth Moon does an absolutely amazing job of making a reader walk many miles in someone else s shoes In this case, the reader becomes Lou Arrendale, an autistic man in an era when autism can be cured in childhood Unfortunately, he was born too soon for the treatment A new treatment is developed for adult autists and he has to decide whether or not to participate in the clinical trials At the end, I don t know that I agreed with his decision, but I understood it I now understand the term genre ghetto I think this book should be widely read, but it probably won t be because it s classified as science fiction Believe me, it s not a space opera or a tech geek novel, it s a novel with real heart that would appeal even to those who never set foot in the science fiction fantasy section of the bookstore.

  4. says:

    One of the most brilliant books I ve ever read This novel still haunts me I hope people will discover THE SPEED OF DARK.

  5. says:

    This is one hell of a fantastic SF and it hit me in all the right feels It s not flashy, either, just really well made It s also custom made for anyone wanting to see and feel what life would be like as a high functioning autistic Its set in the near future, with talk of highly advanced treatments and AIs, but the real joy is in the narrator s outlook, the focus on patterns in everything, everywhere.For while this novel is pretty soft SF, it actually has a hard SF feel because of the character And even though he goes to work, has hobbies, thinks about having a love life, and continually strives to be better, the difference within his perception of things is a real joy.I love this book I really love this book It s not even one I would have normally picked to love, either It just slammed into me from out of nowhere It even has sword fights Well, fencing And bombs Um, dangerous pranks and jilted lovers Yes, it is a joyous celebration of differences in humanity, but than that, this novel is also a great story I totally recommend it for anyone, anywhere.Even those of us who already think differently.

  6. says:

    For some reason I couldn t like this book The good things about it was the main character and how his autism was portrayed, but other than that, it just bothered me.The main thing that bugged me is, what is normal in the first place This book takes place in the future, how far it takes place, I don t know, but I would think that by the future we d understand autism better and wouldn t just dismiss it as abnormal but would try to empathize with people with autism and to understand their point of view.In this book you have a man with a life that s already rich and full of fencing, people who like him and respect him and one enemy, but you get to that later He has a good job, sure he has to do things like bounce and have pinwheels around, but why is that a big deal It s hard for him to appreciate himself with this concept of normal hanging over his head Could the world in the future expand to except other concepts of normal Or will differences and variations be cured instead of taking care of the difficult symptoms This main character, after all, was incredibly intelligent, able to understand information about the brain the normal folks around him couldn t understand totally.But the main frustrating thing about this book is simply, even in the future, there s no way something like this would even be allowed No way can a corporation FORCE a person to accept a cure or experiment on their brain because that sort of thing is just not ethical.So too many things about this book frustrated me.Rereading Flowers for Algernon makes me realize just how frustrating this book is compared to that book And it makes me take away a star.For one thing, the character in Flowers for Algernon was impaired than this main character in this book As I said up there, he was autistic, but that s not the same thing as an intellectual disability This character could function, think, remember His brain functioned differently, but he could understand all sorts of books about neurology So why did he have to be cured Is this just wishful thinking on the part of someone who has a child with autism That they find a cure and they become normal which doesn t really exist Why can t you be an astronaut even WITH autism Why can t folks learn about autism rather than trying to wipe it out to the point that all you have are people who are normal when it doesn t exist The spectrum must expand Much as sexuality is narrowed in the minds of so many people to only encompass heterosexuality when you have a spectrum that goes from asexuality to bisexuality, normal must be expanded to include other people whose minds do not work the same way because there s really nothing wrong with that Also, too many of my reviews, especially negative ones turn into rants.I also must add, what is wrong with Lou He seems like a nice guy, he has cool hobbies like fencing I d hang out with him I just didn t see that there was something wrong with him that needed to be cured Maybe I am biased, but there really was nothing wrong with this guy Now I could see if this was interfering with his life, his job and making it difficult, but there was nothing like this at all The ending is satisfying for people who see autism as a horrible affliction you need to get rid of as soon as possible, but not for people who see autism as of a human variation than a tragedy.

  7. says:

    The last forty pages of this fucking sucked Up until that point, it was an awesome anti ableist critique of normalcy and cure with what felt to me like a pretty authentic narrative voice Then, rather inexplicably, the main character does an about face and decides that in order to truly fulfill his dreams of being an astronaut and be able to date, he needs to be cured Sick It totally knocked it down from a 4 star to a 2 star I m still giving it 2 stars because this horrible ending was tacked onto the end of what otherwise was a pretty amazing book Moon, the parent of an autistic son, totally let her parental fantasy of cure win out in the end Soooo disappointing I d actually still recommend it to people with a serious caveat about the last 40 pages The rest of it rocks though.

  8. says:

    Oh man This book started out incredibly promising The autistic first person narrator is believable and authentic, and when an experimental cure for autism is acquired by the company he works for, the ethical ramifications are gripping and frightening I mean, when people see autism as an illness, something to be cured, then resisting treatment is obvious grounds for firing someone So I really wanted to see where the writer would take this view spoiler As the book progresses, the narrator becomes and a caricature of an autistic person A friend he s known for years turns out to not be so friendly after all, but the narrator s reaction to that rings true he feels he can t trust his own judgment about who is his friend and who isn t However, all the crap about extremely literal thinking is just too much, and it gets worse and worse.The ending is what forced me to give this book one star I can understand the narrator s motivation to try the experimental cure, as a way to learn new things about himself And how he needs to relearn how to handle all sensory input, just like a newborn, makes sense as well And it s intimated that because his sensory processing is different now, he doesn t recognise patterns in the way he used to which was the basis of his unique learning style.So it makes absolutely zero sense that without that learning style, without those pattern recognition skills that enabled him to learn about organic chemistry and neuroscience in a couple of weeks, he s still able to become an astronaut and fulfill his dream and live happily ever after Internal logic would dictate that in the process of becoming non autistic, he would find that the one dream that he had as an autistic person would be forever beyond his reach, because that dream was a product of his autistic mind.Instead, the author lets her own wishes about a cure for autism spoil the entire book hide spoiler

  9. says:

    s e book samples are too short, only about 18 pages in length, good luck applying that ol 50 pages rule here Fortunately The Speed of Dark 2003 Nebula Award winner is immediately intriguing and I was sold on it by the end of the short sample I keep hearing good things about Elizabeth Moon and Elizabeth Bear in sci fi websites and forums, I get them mixed up a lot as I have not read either one until now Elizabeth Moon surpasses my expectations with this book, hopefully Elizabeth Bear can do likewise very soon.The title The Speed of Dark has a very sci fi ring to it, it is actually a phrase to contrast the speed of light The idea is that there is always darkness before light, therefore darkness must somehow travel faster than light because it is always ahead This is a metaphor the author is employing to represent knowledge illuminating ignorance, so it not some kind of crazy bad science.The book is set in the near future, the protagonist Lou Arrendale is an autistic man working in a department of a company that exclusively employs autistic people for their superior concentration, greater pattern recognition or other cognitive abilities Lou copes admirably with his autism and is generally happy if not quite content with his life, then one day he is informed that there is a cure for autism and his life immediately changes even without before the cure becomes available to him The Speed of Dark is often compared to the classic Flowers for Algernon as both books deal with improvement of the brain through neuroscience Both books are also poignant, brimming with compassion and tug at the heartstrings Don t worry about having your heart broken by the author though, Elizabeth Moon is not Thomas Hardy Prior to reading this book I knew next to nothing about autism, not having met any autistic person I can not claim to know a lot about it now as this is a work of fiction but Ms Moon s son is autistic so I believe her depiction of autism to be realistic In any case her portrayal of autistic characters has the feel of verisimilitude Most of the novel is told in the first person from Lou s perspective with the occasional switch to a few secondary characters where Lou is not privy to what is going on in his absence This is the first book I have ever read that take me inside the head of an autistic person The very clever first person narrative of Lou is fascinating in and of itself Lou s stilted use of language is very formal, polite and precise Here is an example Don can be a real heel, she says Don is not a heel he is a person Normal people say things like this, changing the meaning of words without warning, and they understand it I know, because someone told me years ago, that heel is a slang word for bad person But he couldn t tell me why, and I still wonder about it If someone is a bad person and you want to say that he is a bad person, why not just say it Why say heel or jerk or something And adding real to it only makes it worse If you say something is real, it should be real More importantly Lou s narration enables me to feel the gulf between himself and normal people Social nuances or cues are entirely beyond his ken, as are voice intonations and most facial expressions He is also hopeless with colloquial terms, idioms and metaphors All the characters in this book are very believable, the autistic characters are particularly vivid and sympathetic They all seem to have a pure heart, I don t know if this is true for all autists in the real world but the selfish and prejudiced normals they come across raises the question of whether normality may be overrated After all, only a normal person would consider hurting someone who has never done them any harm.Most of the book reads like contemporary mainstream fiction than science fiction, the sci fi component of it only comes into play well into the second half of the book This is not a sci fi thriller, this is not a page turner, I did not want to turn the pages quickly to find out what happen next, I wanted absorb the story page by page and hope that Lou will be alright From what I have heard Elizabeth Moon generally writes action packed military sci fi or fantasy so I guess this book is atypical of her works It appears to be a heartfelt story based on her own experiences with her son that she wants to share with us I feel privileged to have read it, it is a beautiful book that I will never forget.

  10. says:

    This is a very interesting book set in the near future when advancements in medical science have made autism curable in child hood The story revolves around a group of adults with autism who were too old to be treated when the cure was found, making them the last of their kind Eventually a possible cure is found for the adults and the debate is raised whether they need to be changed or whether they are who they are and should stay the sameThere are lots of similarities between this book and the wonderful Flowers for Algernon I also saw much of Don from The Rosie Project in this book s main character Lou Lou actually holds this book together For much of the time he is the narrator so the reader gets to view the world from his often very unusual stand point It is an interesting, informative and often entertaining book and I enjoyed it very much.

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The Speed of Darkcharacters The Speed of Dark, audiobook The Speed of Dark, files book The Speed of Dark, today The Speed of Dark, The Speed of Dark 181e3 In The Near Future, Disease Will Be A Condition Of The Past Most Genetic Defects Will Be Removed At Birth The Remaining During Infancy Unfortunately, There Will Be A Generation Left Behind For Members Of That Missed Generation, Small Advances Will Be Made Through Various Programs, They Will Be Taught To Get Along In The World Despite Their Differences They Will Be Made Active And Contributing Members Of Society But They Will Never Be NormalLou Arrendale Is A Member Of That Lost Generation, Born At The Wrong Time To Reap The Awards Of Medical Science Part Of A Small Group Of High Functioning Autistic Adults, He Has A Steady Job With A Pharmaceutical Company, A Car, Friends, And A Passion For Fencing Aside From His Annual Visits To His Counselor, He Lives A Low Key, Independent Life He Has Learned To Shake Hands And Make Eye Contact He Has Taught Himself To Use Please And Thank You And Other Conventions Of Conversation Because He Knows It Makes Others Comfortable He Does His Best To Be As Normal As Possible And Not To Draw Attention To Himself But Then His Quiet Life Comes Under Attack It Starts With An Experimental Treatment That Will Reverse The Effects Of Autism In Adults With This Treatment Lou Would Think And Act And Be Just Like Everyone Else But If He Was Suddenly Free Of Autism, Would He Still Be Himself Would He Still Love The Same Classical Music With Its Complications And Resolutions Would He Still See The Same Colors And Patterns In The World Shades And Hues That Others Cannot See Most Importantly, Would He Still Love Marjory, A Woman Who May Never Be Able To Reciprocate His Feelings Would It Be Easier For Her To Return The Love Of A Normal There Are Intense Pressures Coming From The World Around Him Including An Angry Supervisor Who Wants To Cut Costs By Sacrificing The Supports Necessary To Employ Autistic Workers Perhaps Even Disturbing Are The Barrage Of Questions Within Himself For Lou Must Decide If He Should Submit To A Surgery That Might Completely Change The Way He Views The World And The Very Essence Of Who He IsThoughtful, Provocative, Poignant, Unforgettable, The Speed Of Dark Is A Gripping Exploration Into The Mind Of An Autistic Person As He Struggles With Profound Questions Of Humanity And Matters Of The Heart From The Hardcover Edition

About the Author: Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon was born March 7, 1945, and grew up in McAllen, Texas, graduating from McAllen High School in 1963 She has a B.A in History from Rice University 1968 and another in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin 1975 with graduate work in Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.She served in the USMC from 1968 to 1971, first at MCB Quantico and then at HQMC She marrie