Ada Palmer

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Ada Palmer

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Born
in The United States
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Member Since
July 2014


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Popular Answered Questions

Ada Palmer I'm working on the 4th book of "Terra Ignota" since books 2 and 3 are done.
Ada Palmer Great question! We'll see more of this in book 3.

In this future, all sports offer "open" competitions in which anyone can participate, while most…more
Great question! We'll see more of this in book 3.

In this future, all sports offer "open" competitions in which anyone can participate, while most sports also have separate divisions based around anatomical difference, though not gender specifically. Think of weight classes in boxing, or how horse races are divided into classes by the height of the horse's shoulders. For each sport, the effects of weight, height, stride, shoulder width etc. are considered and competitions are divided into classes reflecting what advantages different body types offer. Thus racing, for example, might be classed by stride length, basketball and gymnastics by height, discus by shoulder width or arm length, while rifle might not be divided at all since body type doesn't affect rifle skill as much. In many sports, the physically smaller classes tend to have more female competitors since women are smaller on average, but it's far from 100%. In a few sports which are very strongly affected by fundamental skeletal differences, such as how men's and women's hip and knee joints work differently, or how different the center of gravity is for men from women, the division is in a practical sense mostly by sex, but the rules are written in terms of specific physical features rather than gender, and intersex people or people with unusual characteristics which place them anatomically in a category not typical for their sex compete alongside those with similar musculo-skeletal structures, rather than having sex organs be the categorical determiner. Some historic reenactment sports are still gender segregated in this future by tradition, but not modern professional sports. In addition to reducing gender segregation, one effect of this system is to give more opportunities for athletes who have extraordinary ability but don't have extreme anatomy to match it, such as physically large female gymnasts, or short runners.

Sniper is petite and competes in the smallest anatomical category for pentathlon, but is very skilled and prefers to compete in "open" pentathlons. Being petite gives Sniper a disadvantage in the running and swimming elements, and somewhat poor reach in fencing, disadvantages which Sniper makes up for by working extra hard on riding, fencing training, and pistol.(less)
Average rating: 3.98 · 11,402 ratings · 2,031 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Too Like the Lightning (Ter...

3.82 avg rating — 6,658 ratings — published 2016 — 14 editions
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Seven Surrenders (Terra Ign...

4.19 avg rating — 3,030 ratings — published 2017 — 9 editions
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The Will to Battle (Terra I...

4.25 avg rating — 1,657 ratings — published 2017 — 10 editions
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Reading Lucretius in the Re...

4.08 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Terra Ignota (3 Book Series)

4.33 avg rating — 9 ratings2 editions
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Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ig...

3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — expected publication 2020
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Homer Among the Moderns

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Tensions in Renaissance Cities

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The Usual Path to Publicati...

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Shoreline of Infinity 8½. E...

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More books by Ada Palmer…

Stoicism’s Appeal to the Rich and Powerful

Cicero, one of our major sources for stoic thought.


I was recently interviewed for a piece in the Times on why the philosophy of stoicism has become very popular in the Silicon Valley tech crowd. Only a sliver of my thoughts made it into the article, but the question from Nellie Bowles was very stimulating so I wanted to share more of my thoughts.


To begin with, like any ancient philosophy, stoic...

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Published on March 27, 2019 06:35
Too Like the Lightning Seven Surrenders The Will to Battle
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Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
"Wonderful, deep and many-layered, full of philosophy and politics and science tangling around one another. Different and somehow simply more than anything else I've read in a long time. And just the beginning. "
Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer
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The Roman Inquisition by Katherine Aron-Beller
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The Roman Inquisition on the Stage of Italy, c. 1590-1640 by Thomas F. Mayer
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The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540-1605 by Paul F. Grendler
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More of Ada's books…
“Is it not miraculous, reader, the power of the mind to believe and not believe at once?”
Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning

“I wanted it so much. So much sometimes it felt like I couldn't breathe. Sometimes I would cry, not because I was sad, but because it hurt, physical pain from the intensity of wanting something so much. I'm a good student of philosophy, I know my Stoics, Cynics, their advice, that, when a desire is so intense it hurts you, the healthy path is to detach, unwant it, let it go. The healthy thing for the self. But there are a lot of reasons one can want to be an author: acclaim, wealth, self-respect, finding a community, the finite immortality of name in print, so many more. But I wanted it to add my voice to the Great Conversation, to reply to Diderot, Voltaire, Osamu Tezuka, and Alfred Bester, so people would read my books and think new things, and make new things from those thoughts, my little contribution to the path which flows from Gilgamesh and Homer to the stars. And that isn't just for me. It's for you. Which means it was the right choice to hang on to the desire, even when it hurt so much.”
Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning

“The great breakthrough of our age is supposed to be that we measure success by happiness, admiring a man for how much he enjoyed his life, rather than how much wealth or fame he hoarded, that old race with no finish line. Diogenes with his barrel and his sunlight lived every hour of his life content, while Alexander fought and bled, mourned friends, faced enemies, and died unsatisfied. Diogenes is greater. Or does that past-tainted inner part of you—the part that still parses ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and ‘he’ and ‘she’—still think that happiness alone is not achievement without legacy? Diogenes has a legacy. Diogenes ruled nothing, wrote nothing, taught nothing except by the example of his life to passersby, but, so impressed were those bypassers, that, after the better part of three millennia, we still know this about him.”
Ada Palmer, Seven Surrenders

Polls

November SCIENCE FICTION -- The following poll decides which two selections will go on to the final round for Science Fiction BOTM for November 2017.

 
  18 votes, 27.3%

 
  13 votes, 19.7%

 
  9 votes, 13.6%

 
  8 votes, 12.1%

 
  8 votes, 12.1%

 
  6 votes, 9.1%

 
  3 votes, 4.5%

 
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