HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
Loading...

The Fractal Prince (edition 2012)

by Hannu Rajaniemi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2761241,007 (3.68)17
Member:reading_fox
Title:The Fractal Prince
Authors:Hannu Rajaniemi
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: 1st Edition, Hardcover, 300 pages
Collections:Recommendations ONLY, Your library, Science fiction
Rating:****1/2
Tags:!raj, /fla02, science fiction, @2013, SantaThing, free, use, fairy tale riffs, weird SF, AI, technology, romance, hero doesn't die, hero dies, betrayal, dragons

Work details

The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

English (11)  Finnish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The Fractal Prince by Finnish-born author Hannu Rajaniemi (who according to his author biography now lives in Scotland and has a Ph.D. in string theory, whatever that is (I can’t help but imagine a guy in an academic gown and wearing a mortarboard playing Cat’s Cradle, but I suppose that this is probably slightly off the mark)) is the second part of a trilogy; the first part, The Quantum Thief, received a huge amount of attention (almost all of it positive, most critics were positively ecstatic about the novel) when it was published, while the release of the second one for some reason seems to have barely gotten noticed. I really have not the faintest clue why the novel appears to have ended up below anybody’s radar, and it is even more of a mystery to as I think the second volume is even better than the first (and I already liked that one considerably).

The trilogy (for which there does not seem to be an official name - I’ve seen it called either “Quantum Thief” or “Jean le Flambeur” trilogy) constitutes one of the few really successful attempts I have come across to imagine a post-singularity society on a sustained level, i.e. to imagine a world where humans have for the most part uploaded themselves into digital networks and the real and virtual become so closely interlinked that to distinguish between them is practically meaningless. In this world it is also possible for humans (if you even want to still call them that) to make duplicates of themselves at will and to manifest in any body they chose much like these days you select an avatar for a computer game (and one of the big players in this universe actually did evolve from a World of Warcraft clan). From that, you probably get an idea that the society Rajaniemi describes is on the farthest end of the weirdness scale and that it’s generally pretty far out there – although I can promise you that you won’t really be able to appreciate just how far out until you’ve started the novels. Apparently (I have to take the word of reviewers of The Quantum Thief for that as I’m quite clueless in that field) it is all based on cutting edge science, but that part went so far over my head as to make the actual plot of the novels for large parts almost incomprehensible. But actually, that’s not a bug but a feature, in so far as Rajaniemi gleefully follows Arthur C. Clarke’s maxim that every science sufficiently developed is going to look like magic, and bends his Science Fiction story into a kind of twisted fairy tale.

And this can be taken literally for The Fractal Prince - that novel’s first reference to Scheherazade and the Arabian Nights occurs already in the prologue and then just keeps piling them on from there, creating a pseudo-Oriental ambience, a Nevernever-Arabia that revels in the manifold colours of its own, self-conscious artificiality, populated with jinni and other strange creatures and filled with the magic of weaving stories. And this is where I think the novel really begins to shine, because it turns out that Rajaniemi is one of the very few Science Fiction authors who care about literary form. Each event or character in each story in Tales of Arabian Nights is a potential source of another story, every moment someone might break out in a new story, and of course that story also might contain a multitude of stories – indeed an infinitude of stories, as of course this process can go on ad libitum, stories within stories within stories, with the reader being drawn deeper and deeper into the potentially infinite pattern. In other words, the Arabian Nights practice a kind of fractal storytelling – or at least that is what Rajaniemi strongly implies here, and it is the narrative structure which his own novel carries over from Scheherazade and her treasury of tales even more than references to characters and events.

Together with the bleeding edge science (which will probably remain incomprehensible to anyone who does not have a Ph.D. in theoretical physics) this makes for some truly mind-boggling (and occasionally headache-inducing) reading, but then making its readers’ heads spin is not necessarily a bad thing to do for a novel. In The Fractal Prince, in any case, it is always fascinating and still was surprisingly (considering that most of the time I had no bloody clue what the hell was going on) fun to read.
  Larou | Jul 28, 2014 |
Too complex for me. Physics was not a good subject ,lol. ( )
  tcards | Jul 23, 2014 |
Too complex for me. Physics was not a good subject ,lol. ( )
  tcards | Jul 23, 2014 |
A worthy sequel, no doubt. Lacked a bit of 'punch' of the first one, though perhaps that is because I, the reader, now knew the universe. ( )
  dcunning11235 | May 21, 2014 |
Having enjoyed The Quantum Thief I bought this sequel. But, after a few chapters I gave up.The first book had a pivotal character (the thief) and a hook to keep the reader going (a locked room mystery). This novel lacks both a plot and a central character. ( )
  AlanPoulter | Mar 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hannu Rajaniemiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kotaki, KekaiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
His likeness? How can I trace it? I have seen Arsène Lupin a score of times, and each time a different being has stood before me ... or rather the same being under twenty distorted images reflected by as many mirrors ...

Maurice Leblanc, The Arrest of Arsène Lupin
When we gaze upon a fractal, we must peer at a one-way mirror, unaware of the other mirror, standing somewhere far behind us.

Christian Bök, Crystallography
Dedication
This is for Tomi, who lives in our stories.
First words
That night, Matjek sneaks out of his dream to visit the thief again.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A physicist receives mysterious information about how to enable immortality in a city torn by the agendas of "fast ones," shadow players, jinni, and two revolution-minded sisters; while a thief on the edge of reality is aided by a sardonic ship to risk his freedom and find his patron.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Hannu Rajaniemi is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
26 wanted3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 2
3 19
3.5 9
4 22
4.5 5
5 10

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,607,209 books! | Top bar: Always visible