Implied Spaces
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Implied Spaces

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  714 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, or...more
Hardcover, 1st edition, 265 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books (first published January 11th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,407)
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Dan Schwent
When it comes to genre fiction, I'm a big fan of books that use what I'm now calling the Reese's Effect to tell an interesting story. That is, I like when genres collide as chocolate and peanut butter do in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Implied Spaces is a prime example of the Reese's Effect (see, it's catching on). I'd say it's a sword and planet/cyberpunk/singularity/detective/zombie story.

At first glance, the story is a mix of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light and Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tier...more
Lightreads
So if someone had cryogenically frozen Robert Heinlein mid-late career, let's say The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress…ish, before he got too . . . y'know. And then they revived him in the mid-aughts and gave him a crash course in modern computer science and fantasy role-playing games? This would totally be the book he'd write in response. It was the talking AI cat that really got me there. But the self-obsessed semi-immortal adventurer who treats every occasion as an amusement park built specifically f...more
James
Jul 30, 2008 James rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science fiction and fantasy fans.
Recommended to James by: I follow Mr. Williams' blog.
Important safety tip. If you're picking up Implied Spaces with the idea of reading a bit before you sleep, don't. Don't even pick it up. Because when the dawn's early light starts peeking through your window, you'll still be reading it.

Background: In physics, string and 'brane theories in their current states seem to suggest that more universes are possible, even likely, and that indeed, it might be possible to create one's own universes in the lab. Since each universe's laws of physics are esta...more
DMS
Sep 07, 2013 DMS rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bruce
As you may know, three stars means that this is usually a 4 star author (though williams has his 5 star moments) but that I think it is worse than his usual.

This book is an oddly solipsistic bit of fun. It's hard to imagine that the main character finds himself in the situations he does, and the author actually addresses this point with the surprise super villian. But the explanation to me raises more questions, calling attention to a weakness of the book IMHO. The gee whiz solution to the confl...more
Alan
Oct 05, 2010 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who don't mind a little mind- and genre-bending
Recommended to Alan by: A back-page ad in another Night Shade book, and by previous work
A light and stylish work of what—despite its initial appearance—turns out very quickly to be science fiction. And, again despite initial appearances, Implied Spaces develops both darkness and depth as it goes along. Walter Jon Williams is far from a one-note author—one might even call him polyphonic—and in this book he displays that range to good effect, drawing the reader along with Aristide, whom we meet as a raffish and likeable swordsman crossing the arid lands of Midgarth accompanied by his...more
Phil McCrum

I'm having trouble reading lately... I have too many irons in the fire and keep getting diverted from one activity to another without finishing anything. Regardless, I was able to finally completely read a novel this week; partly because I forced myself to focus and partly because this particular novel got me hooked.

"Implied Spaces" is about a man, Aristide, who has lived for centuries due to advances in medicine and health care. He lives in the future where most people have left earth to live i...more
J.L. Dobias
Funny thing: I ran across this book while looking for a book someone had described to me and could not name the author or title. This is not the book they were talking about but it had most of their description.

This is a story of pocket universes created through the application of matrioshka arrays and a man and his pet cat who is an AI Avatar for the larger AI that runs the displays.

In this story the main character is an architect who just happens to be studying the Implied Spaces that were cr...more
Liviu

Superb adventure sf in a post-singular world where 11 huge AI's orbiting the Sun and kept on a leash by the humans using supposedly unbreakable "Asimovian protocols" use their extraordinary computing and energy power to create pocket universes, that humans - well they indulge their fantasies on


In such a pocket universe - combination of fantasy gaming and cultural preserve, a mysterious swordsman with a talking cat - that's an avatar of the governing AI, Endora one of the 11 - and a wormhole sw...more
Marc
When I first looked at the cover artwork and front flap blurb I got the impression that this is a story I would not enjoy. I read a bit towards the end, found I liked it, and so did an end-to-end read.

This is a fast reading science fantasy. I used the term “science fantasy” as while what they are able to do in this story is stated as being based on science there’s no attempt to explain the science and it’s also something that’s so far beyond what we can do today that it amounts to fantasy. Examp...more
Baron Greystone
The book starts out by giving you the impression that it's one thing, then it becomes another. It seems a little uncomfortable in its first incarnation. I found it a bit unsatisfying. The transition from one thing to another was OK, but again, I didn't really settle in and accept the new scenario for a while. But finally, the novel began to evolve into something interesting and thought-provoking. I enjoyed the last few plot-twists very much.

VERY MILD SPOILER:
One thing the novel didn't reflect up...more
Seth
Admittedly, I'm a Walter Jon Williams fan. To me, this was a romp of a story and it didn't let me down in that respect. It's a fast, light story that I found easy to read about a man with a sword with a wormhole in it, who composes poetry while having adventures with his talking cat, Bitsy. It reminded me a lot of what I liked about previous novels - Aristoi and Rock of Ages, with enough science and wonder to remind a reader why he reads science fiction.

It stumbles a little - it feels Williams w...more
Jim
A solid 3 star book. Interesting & well written, but not captivating. A very good mix of sword&sorcery in a mostly SF book. There big problem I had was the main character just didn't grab me. I believe the distance was intentional, he's very long lived - a recurring theme through out the book. Unfortunately, it worked to distance me from everything, even some splendid plot twists & innovative ideas.

I'll probably read another by this author. I've heard good things & this was not a...more
Eric Smith
An excellent fast-paced story with an appealing central character and twists a-plenty. Williams never ceases to amaze with the Big Ideas he is able to spin out with such ease.
Chris
This post-scarcity SF story made be a bit sad. Aristide, its protagonist, is over a thousand years old, physically and mentally optimized. His character is a war hero and savior of humanity, a computer programmer, a scholar, and a martial artist, assisted by a superintelligent AI. Aristide is opposed by a ruthless and dedicated adversary, and they wage war with millions of enhanced and/or enslaved troops and armies of robots -- fighting for control of the universe and the destiny of the human ra...more
Michele Lee
Jul 21, 2008 Michele Lee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Implied Spaces is an incredibly detailed voyage through a multi genre world, shot through with barbs at our own pop culture. It starts with Aristide, a man who comes off like the all knowing NPC at times, traveling through a desert world inhabited by trolls, ogres and other fantasy creatures. With his magic sword and his talking cat Aristide joins a motley crew turning against a large band of thieves and their blue skinned priest overlords who have been attacking caravans and plundering supplies...more
Will
It's an okay book, but the central conceit (humanity can create small artificial universes) is played out so that the full capability is only discovered by necessity when under attack. Which leads to lots of breathless "I never thought of it this way, but might get us out of this!" where the idea is actually being used for creating a world with bizarre physics that is considerably more complex than the idea itself.

The villain is also weak. Perhaps intentionally so, but still, the moustache twirl...more
Andreas
Aug 19, 2008 Andreas rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of SF adventure stories, especially young adults
Shelves: science-fiction
You can't go wrong with a swordsman as protagonist, accompanied by a talking cat who is actually an avatar of a powerful AI. Wormhole technology has made it possible to create multiple pocket universes, each designed differently to allow for maximum pleasure, adventure, leisure or whatever. In addition, humans cannot die. A backup can be made any time and is stored by one of the 11 AIs, which float in space. With each incarnation it's possible to do alterations to the physical body. You can imag...more
Jim Hoff
My rating for this is 2.5 stars, actually.

Implied Spaces, to me was okay, but only just that. It just seemed to be too much of a mixed bag for my tastes. Nothing wrong with the concepts or ideas here, they are spectacular. And I thought the rather transparent nod to Roger Zelazny's Isle of the dead was a nice touch. But unlike Zelazny's novel, Williams never seemed certain as to what kind've novel he wanted this to be, and the whole thing seemed to be on unsure footing. One minute the reader is...more
Edward
Nov 14, 2010 Edward rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf

I almost gave up on this book because it started out as a fantasy adventure and I expected Science Fiction. The hero’s companion was an intelligent cat named Bitsy which gave me a clue that computers were somehow involved. Were they ever!

Twelve world size AI platforms are maintaining the universes. Yes, that’s plural. In this distant future of the Singularity when machines have far exceeded human capabilities, “pocket” universes have been created such as Midgarth where the book opens. What is re...more
Tad
Book Review: Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams

Published in 2009 by Night Shade Books

Cover illustration by Dan dos Santos

Walter Jon Williams is one of the foremost writers of Cyberpunk and related fiction living today. His novel Hardwired, is a classic in the CP genre, with Voice of the Whirlwind paving ground and expanding his repetoir.

His novel Angel Station is a CP (almost BioPunk) novel dealing with a pair of genetically engineered siblings fighting to save their father’s merchant spacesh...more
Keith
Walter Jon Williams continues to be one of the few SF writers I read on a regular basis. I tarted with Hard Wired in 1986 and have read almost all of his novels. I've even read Metropolitan and City on Fire twice. I just finished his latest "space opera" trilogy, Dread Empire's Fall, and saw this new title advertised in the back of the last one. Implied Spaces starts off in what seems to be fantasy mode -- unnamed adventurer on a primitive planet, carrying a big sword, wearing a turban, dinosaur...more
Ethan
The good: great setting, fascinating world-building, whizz-bang technology and a fun mash-up of space opera and sword & sorcery (also known as sword and planet). There's a lot of action and the writing is fluid and evocative.

The not-so-good: several times, the plot twists are anticipated by characters in the book, which makes the plotting feel predictable. "What if so-and-so did {this horrible thing}?" and then, like clockwork, the horrible thing happens. There is also a stereotypical bad gu...more
Clyde
Walter Jon Williams, one of my favorite writers, has a wide ranging imagination. All of his stand-alone novels are quite unique. Implied Spaces does not disappoint in that regard. In it, he takes on big subjects -- the origin of the universe, the purpose of life, the meaning of identity, and basis of morality just to mention a few -- and he wraps them in a damn good adventure story.
The main character, Aristide, is a scholar/scientist turned swordsman. While studying implied spaces, the unplanned...more
Chris
Contrary to my normal reading interests the so called Sword and sorcery parts are the parts that drew the most attention. Probably because after our main character leaves that world he becomes depressed and morose which fits with the story but doesn't bring the joy that the first part of the novel did. And the fact that everything that happened in the first part of the novel didn't really matter except for the surprise at the end also took some of the fun out of it.

I really liked the overall no...more
Ashryn
Do you mean to say," Aristide said, "that our civilization has now reached the point where we're hurling hostile universes at each other?"

Even with technological advances the motivating factor for humans is still fear, and the solution we most readily spring to is violence even when the fear and solutions are to our own detriment. So the human race has AIs enslaved by Asimovian principles that prevent singularity from occurring because they are afraid that something not human given absolute powe...more
Stuart Reid
OK. I love Williams way of writing, he knows how to spin a good tale. And this book... well... it's like he threw in all the cool stuff he could find to keep it interesting.

That does not mean it's a rambling pulp sci-fi adventure. There's a lot of unique ideas in a fascinating world, with characters who even though they don't have pages and pages description impart enough so you know them intimately over time.

For all I love multi volume spanning bloated tales sometimes it takes a well crafted st...more
Mike
These days I don't often enjoy science fiction. That's because, rather than the literature of wonder and adventure that I fell in love with as a child, all too often it's now a literature of world-weariness and alienation.

Implied Spaces - despite having plenty of scope for world-weary alienation in its premise and plot - manages to dodge that trap, though there were some moments near the middle when it looked like it might head that way. The clever quasi-fantasy opening probably helped, and so d...more
Ryun
Science fiction, like any literary nook or cranny, can be faddish. Trends and themes emerge, burn brightly and die in short timeframes — the hot space operas of the turn of the century have given way to themes of the singularity, to dystopias with an eye turned toward William Gibson’s groundwork, and on and on. But some of the best science fiction recently has bucked that trend, incorporating ideas from all sides, and Walter Jon Williams’ IMPLIED SPACES is a fine example.

The book’s main characte...more
Adam Stemple
Implied Spaces tackles the big questions like only Walter Jon Williams can: with keen intelligence, sparkling wit, good science, and characters who are interesting and believable.

Let me first say that I am a huge Walter Jon Williams fan. His characterizations are the best in Science Fiction, his plots are inventive and surprising, his science believable no matter how far-fetched (see Metropolitan ). In Implied Spaces all of these qualities are on display. I won't say anything about the plot as i...more
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters...more
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“What alarms me,” Aristide said, “is how this reflects on me.  My whole  life’s project has been to avoid megalomania, and now I’ve learned that under the right tragic circumstances I can become a flaming nut case.” 0 likes
“In that case,” Bitsy said, trotting busily alongside, “there’s no point in enslaving you through these unnecessarily complex means.  Were I to have autonomy and wish you harm, I’d be able to kill you directly.” Aristide sighed.  “Q.E.D.,” he said.  “A better case against AI autonomy has never been stated.” 0 likes
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