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Old 08-06-2013, 10:39 PM
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RealityChuck is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 43,264
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
That's one harsh review. Did you piss that guy off somehow? Is any of his critique valid?
Well, of course not.

Seriously, if you read the review, you'll note he doesn't talk about the things that most people think make a good book: plot and characterization. His ox is that I got the science wrong.

The problem is that he gets the science wrong. His main complaint is that I didn't understand how evolution works, yet his comments indicate that he assumes that evolution was based upon mutations.

But in the book, I specifically said that the evolutionary issues were due to two factors:

1. Genetic engineering.
2. The fact that the evolutionary traits were always present, but only became apparent in a different environment. My model was things like antibiotic resistant bacteria. It's not that they mutate to gain resistance; it's that there always were antibiotic resistant bacteria, but that they were very few. Once antibiotics are introduced, it killed the non-resistant bacteria, but the few that were resistant were able to survive and pass that trait along. The more subtle point I'm making is that there are people with these genetic traits right now, but that they aren't important in our current environment.

Similarly, he complains vehemently about how little time it takes to get to the Staroamer. It took six weeks, and I did the math: assuming Earth escape velocity, the Staroamer is about 28 million miles away. Not a great distance, but a significant one, and it's also established that it's not in a place anyone bothers looking.

The book may have some fanciful science, but it's not bad science.

No one complained about the science when the book came out, and most of the reviews were positive. It was listed on the Locus Reader's Poll for best first novel -- which was quite an accomplishment since the book had only been out two months when the poll was taken.

But criticizing the science is missing the point. The book is a space opera/superhero book; it is not meant to be hard SF, but rather an entertaining adventure. If you want hard sf, this isn't the book for you. But if you want a good story, you won't be disappointed.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 08-06-2013 at 10:43 PM.