Macroscope [Piers Anthony] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of Piers Anthony’s most loved works! A great interwoven exciting story . A “hard SF” novel by Piers Anthony, who usually writes fantasy, in which mathematics forms a basis of communication between humans and intelligent aliens. Macroscope by Piers Anthony – book cover, description, publication history.
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The main idea behind this novel is the macroscope itself, an instrument that focuses a new particle and allows the user to effectively look anywhere and anytime at people, places, macroscop events.
Clearly this has an implication of being usable as a ‘spy’ scope, where everyone’s most private actions can be discerned. It is this use that gets the scope dubbed as the ‘Pooper Scooper’ and leads to political machinations for control of its use.
But the scientists running the scope have also stumbled across messages encoded within the particle stream, messages sent by alien civilizations for unclear purposes and which when viewed leave the viewer with a burnt out mind.
Into this hardware scenario Anthony sends a very enigmatic individual, one Ivo Archer, note that name choices are important herean apparently normal person who happens to have some very wild, super-genius level talents in certain very restricted areas, to help determine what these messages are and why they are so destructive.
But Ivo is more than he seems to be, and as we follow the story as it progresses from Earth bound considerations to a galactic encyclopedia to interstellar war with some truly different alien life forms all the way to the fate of universe and folding other ideas into the mix, such as astrology as a true science, the reader is treated to an incredible trip through the minds of more than one genius.
Anthony’s characterization of these geniuses is very well done, and gives great insight into the thought processes and emotional characteristics of these exceptional people. The psychological insights displayed here form a prime sub-text underneath the fantastic action of the story, and elevate this work well beyond a simple adventure novel.
In most of early works, Anthony showed a predilection for playing with mathematical ideas rather than physics concepts, and this work is no exception, introducing the game of sprouts, an apparently simple pencil and paper game that the reader will find is actually a fiendishly complicated foray into the world of ‘rubber-band’ mapping topologyneatly folded into and enhancing the main story line.
This work was nominated for the Hugo Award. But it is more than worth the effort to find and read this incomprehensibly out-of-print book of fantastic ideas, high adventure, and great character, which I have kept on my top 50 list of best all-time science fiction works ever since I first read it.
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MathFiction: Macroscope (Piers Anthony)
Preview — Macroscope by Piers Anthony. Macroscope by Piers Anthony. Macroscope Throughout history, man has been searching for better ways to gather information about his universe. But although they may have longed for it, not even the most brilliant minds could conceive of a device as infinitely powerful or as immeasurably precise as the macroscope, until the twenty-first century.
By analyzing information carried on macrons, this unbelieva Macroscope Throughout history, man has been searching for better ways to gather information about his universe. By analyzing information carried on macrons, this unbelievable tool brought the whole universe of wonders to man’s doorstep. The macroscope was seen by many as the salvation of the human race. But in the hands of the wrong man, the macroscope could be immensely destructive-infinitely more dangerous than the nuclear bomb.
By searching to know too much, man could destroy the very essence of his mind. This is the powerful story of man’s struggle with technology, and also the story of his human struggle with himself. This novel takes us across the breathtaking ranges of space as well as through the most touching places in the human heart.
It is a story of coming of age, of sacrifice, and of love. It is the story of man’s desperate search for a compromise between his mind and his heart, between knowledge and humanity. Paperbackpages. Hugo Award Nominee To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Macroscopeplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 10, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: In case my 5 star rating is insufficient to persuade you to try this book, I prepared the following comparison scale to chart the exact amount of awesomeness contained in the story.
I think we all have those books that we absolutely love that just never seem to get the attention that we are feel deep down in our giblets they deserve.
I call these my literary babies.
While this novel was nominated for a Hugo Award when it was published init has not remained in the collective consciousness of the SF world in the intervening years.
This is something that constantly frustrates me because this book is a serious, complex, mind-expanding tour de force that seriously deserves to enjoy a wider audience as well as a spot among the towering works of the field.
I see two reasons why this might be. This may be a turn off for some. A macgoscope reason may be that it is written by Piers Anthony.
I think most people who have read Anthony’s work will agree that the man can come up with some brilliant ideas. Not to worry here folks. There is very little in the way of “skeeve” in this book and it is free from MEH. It is, however, chalk full of Anthony at the top of his brilliant, mind-blowing best. First, the Macroscope which is one of the truly great SF concepts ever. Add to the Macroscope nuggets like: Seriously, watching Anthony weave astrology as a central plot device in the midst of all of the hard science concepts was fascinating and deftly handled.
Yes, humanity is still a child race and the question is whether or not we have the potential to assume a place in the great galactic community. Place your bets people. Uh, we are talking our whole galaxy and beyond playing a part in this plot and this is where the truly brilliant, multi-layered narrative really begins to shine.
In Chapter 8, one of the main characters, Ivo, ends up in ancient Damascus. You are going to be WTFing all over the place. I am writing this to let you know…. At the heart of the narrative there is a significant amount of psychology involving the main characters and what defines them as people and how their strengths and ahthony become a necessary aspect of the cosmic drama to which they have been thrust.
View all 20 comments. Feb 23, Manny rated it liked it Shelves: There’s this trope you come across every now and then in science-fiction books macrosfope annoys the hell out of anyone who’s actually interested in language.
You have some supergenius type who’s supposed to know everything, and the way the author chooses to show you how clever they are is to have them demonstrate their knowledge of a word in some more or less obscure language. There was a fine example in Babelwhich I reread last month. Rydra Wong, the gorgeous supergenius poet and linguist, has There’s this trope you come across every now and then in science-fiction books which annoys the hell out of anyone who’s actually interested in language.
Rydra Wong, the gorgeous supergenius poet and linguist, has ended up on this huge spaceship which turns out to be called Jebel Tarik. Now what’s that supposed to mean? The lovely Rydra soon figures it out. Jebelshe says, means “mountain” in Old Moorish, so they’re on Tarik’s Mountain. All well and good, but jebelas I recently discovered, also means “mountain” in Arabic, a rather less exotic language than Old Moorish. Macroscope contains a piiers example.
A mixture of languages! Blah, blah, blah, the last word is Spanish, the pisrs one is Finnish, blah, blah, what’s the “I”? Oh yes, she says, Polish! Well, that’s right, but it’s the same in Russian, a macrlscope dramatic choice. One rather suspects that both Samuel R. Delaney and Piers Anthony composed their examples by flicking through a few dictionaries.
View all 14 comments. Macroscope whose complicated Space-Opera plot combines astrology with more traditional Sense-of-Wonder concepts like successful SETI and the use of the planet Neptune as a Spaceship. In constructing mavroscope series of sf devices in this book to carry across his concern with representing the unity of all phenomena, microscopic to macroscopic, Anthony evokes themes from Superman to Cosmology and Jungian Psychology; of all his works, this novel alone manages to seem adequately structured to maccroscope Macroscope whose complicated Space-Opera plot combines astrology with more traditional Sense-of-Wonder concepts like successful SETI and the use of the planet Neptune as a Spaceship.
In constructing a series of sf devices in this book to carry across his concern with representing the unity of all phenomena, microscopic to macroscopic, Anthony evokes themes from Superman to Cosmology and Jungian Psychology; of all his works, this novel alone manages to seem adequately structured to convey the burden of a sometimes mercilessly anthohy imagination.
Here is a review that I posted on Amazon.
Again I find that it is one of those books that changes how one thinks about things, and a work that can be appreciated on multiple levels. First, it can change one’s view of what’s possible within the genre of science fiction. It impressively anthoby a tapestry from such diverse threads as music, mathematics, classic American literature, ph Here is a review that I posted on Amazon.
It impressively weaves a tapestry from such diverse threads as music, mathematics, classic American literature, philosophy, psychology, and sheer imagination, just to name a few. To a degree I’ve seldom seen equaled, the combination of these elements after all these macrosvope still create in me a sense of wonder at the grandness and richness of Creation. Anthony’s work here is truly a microcosmic reflection of the very universe of which he writes.
That pirrs into something else I’ve kept noticing on this re-reading. I’ve been constantly struck by way the story suggests the interrelationship of things ranging from tiny like the macron particle to immense like the universe ; and by the synergy possible between people with diverse and seemingly disparate gifts. The plot shows each of these characters as vital to the group’s success, despite what appear to be huge differences in intellectual or personal development.
The “hard” science fiction elements at first glance today might appear a bit dated, given a nomenclature that dates from the late ‘s. But then hard science and technology are not really central themes of this novel.
These elements of the story are for me a necessary “window dressing” arrayed around more central themes like personal responsibility, the grandness of the Universe, and interpersonal dynamics.
In that respect it’s easy to overlook the book’s roots in the technology of the ‘s. Jan 12, Zach rated it did not like it. One of the worst science fiction books I’ve ever read. Hard to follow, clumsy language, ridiculous dialogue, long and interminably boring tangents into astrology The central mystery mcaroscope the book was just compelling enough to get through anthohy the end, but the revelation wasn’t all that satisfying and the denouement was very bland.