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Simon Ings

Author of The Weight of Numbers

38+ Works 1,214 Members 35 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Simon Ings, a science writer and novelist, is the author of A Natural History of Seeing: The Art and Science of Vision, He edits the culture section of New Scientist and regularly contributes to publications including the Guardian, Times (UK), Telegraph, Independent, and Nature. He lives and works show more in London. show less

Includes the names: Simon Ings, Simon D. Ings


Works by Simon Ings

The Weight of Numbers (2006) 204 copies
Hot-head (1992) 111 copies
Wolves (2014) 110 copies
Hotwire (1995) 103 copies
The Eye: A Natural History (2007) 93 copies
City of the Iron Fish (1994) 82 copies
Headlong (1999) 78 copies
The Smoke (2019) 59 copies
Dead Water (2011) 46 copies
Painkillers (2000) 35 copies
We, Robots (2010) — Editor; Contributor; Introduction — 23 copies
Arc 1.1: The Future Always Wins (2012) — Editor — 15 copies
Arc 1.2 Post human conditions (2012) — Editor — 11 copies

Associated Works

The New Weird (2008) — Contributor — 518 copies
Year's Best SF 7 (2002) — Contributor — 264 copies
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume 1 (2007) — Contributor — 220 copies
Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex (1996) — Contributor — 203 copies
The New Nature of the Catastrophe (1993) — Contributor — 122 copies
The Shimmering Door (1997) — Contributor — 117 copies
Digital Domains: A Decade of Science Fiction & Fantasy (2010) — Contributor — 81 copies
Meeting Infinity (2015) — Contributor — 79 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2016 Edition (2016) — Contributor — 57 copies
When It Changed: Science into Fiction (2009) — Contributor — 57 copies
Lethal Kisses: 18 Tales of Sex, Horror, and Revenge (1996) — Contributor, some editions — 54 copies
Best New Horror 4 (1993) — Contributor — 53 copies
New Worlds 1 (1991) — Contributor — 52 copies
New Worlds 2 (1992) — Contributor — 47 copies
New Worlds 3 (1993) — Contributor — 38 copies
Touch Wood (1993) — Contributor — 36 copies
Other Edens: No. 3 (1989) — Contributor — 29 copies
Omni Best Science Fiction Three (1993) — Contributor — 27 copies
Vital Signals: Virtual Futures, Near-Future Fictions (2022) — Contributor — 14 copies
Bio-Punk: Stories from the Far Side of Research (2012) — Contributor — 12 copies
New Scientist, 14 May 2022 (2022) — Contributor — 1 copy
New Scientist, 20 August 2022 (2022) — Reviewer — 1 copy


2008 (17) anthology (543) biology (12) calibre (12) collection (22) cyberpunk (31) ebook (62) English (13) erotica (19) eternal champion (12) fantasy (178) fiction (419) history (19) history of science (12) horror (71) Kindle (22) literature (13) new weird (36) non-fiction (26) not free sf reader (16) novel (30) own (20) owned (12) paperback (23) read (33) science (68) science fiction (745) Science Fiction/Fantasy (17) sf (237) SF Anthology (12) sff (37) short fiction (43) short stories (352) short story (13) signed (15) speculative fiction (45) stories (14) to-read (243) unread (61) year's best (18)

Common Knowledge



This one sat long on my bookshelf until I had a heated argument with some friends regarding the proper color for fire-extinguishers. They insisted it should be only red, since this is the color majority of animals are primed to see best. However, in the absence of evidence I refused to take such claims at face value. Thus I reached out for the dusty tome… and found justification for my doubts. Besides this answer I found a boundless source of information about vision and eyes. The author possesses erudite knowledge of the topic, draws on numerous and very appropriate examples, and presents all these revelations in a very structured and digestible manner. A real eye-opener.… (more)
Den85 | 1 other review | Jan 3, 2024 |
Titlul este înșelător, fiindcă Stalin apare extrem de puțin și indirect, iar cartea nu e de fapt despre savanți în general, ci aproape toată despre biologi/agronomi. Pe acea nișă, în schimb, chiar e captivantă, abordând mai puțin teoriile propriu-zise și mai degrabă oamenii și motivațiile lor, sorțile evident tragice și pe larg celebrul "război" Lisenko vs genetică (din nefericire câștigat politic de Lisenko, cu prețul morții de foame a milioane de sovietici și a distrugerii științei și economiei).… (more)
milosdumbraci | May 5, 2023 |
An exhaustive and sometimes exhausting history of science in Russia, with some time spent on the period just before the Communist revolution, and at then end on how things did and didn't change under Khrushchev. Most of the focus is on biology, particularly genetics, and agriculture. Less time is spent on physics and the space program, perhaps because this area was somewhat less dominated by political factors. Like War and Peace, there are seemingly hundreds of character arcs to follow, but the story of Lysenko dominates. Though Ing says several times "I'm not an academic", the bibliography is 30 pages long and there are 28 pages of footnotes.

For me, the book opens well, establishing the nature of Russia government under the tsars and its relationship with science, and the transition to Communism, the tensions between Lenin and Stalin, and how central the challenges of feeding Russia were to everything. The book also ends well as Russia emerges from Stalinism, sort of, and makes an interesting case for how cybernetics provided an umbrella for the return of serious science in a variety of domains. The big middle of the book is a slog though. Though chapters are basically ordered temporally, there's a lot of jumping around in time as different people are introduced and followed. Worse, there are frequent transitions from one person to another, as the history hops from one thread to another to another. It's like a Charles Ives piece with many snippets of music but rarely any sustained arc. There are many quotes from various scientific debates, that consistently failed to help me understand the personal, philosophical, and political battles they were meant to illustrate.

So an A for effort and depth, and B for story telling.
… (more)
1 vote
ChrisRiesbeck | 3 other reviews | Apr 26, 2022 |



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½ 3.5

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