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Implied Spaces

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,101 Ratings  ·  122 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
ebook, 264 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books (first published January 11th 2008)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
James
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
3 Stars

Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams should have been a perfect read for me as it contains pretty much all of my favorite genres mashed into one. At it's heart, Implied Spaces is a future based science fiction. Williams is a gifted writer and sometimes that is not a good thing. I am a fan of his but as before I feel that the writing here is better than the story.

The boom started out great to me, but at the halfway point of this short read I felt impatient for it to end. I loved the scie
...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
DMS
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phil McCrum
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Alan
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce
Oct 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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
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
J.L. Dobias
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-shelf-09
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
Tomer
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting mix of fantasy and sci-fi entwined in singular poetry. Oddly enough it may be one of those cases where realities chase after prose. I have greatly enjoyed the science aspects of the tales being balanced by diverse characters and creative ideas. My only wish is for a prolonged conclusion.
Tom
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those post-singularity novels that was so popular in the Aughts. It's set in a future where humans can change their bodies, change their genders, come back from the dead, and travel to customized pocket universes in the blink of an eye. It reminds me most strongly of Charlie Stross's book Glasshouse.

Our hero is named Aristide, a man who has now been alive for something on the order of 1,500 years, ancient by the standards even of this transcendent world. He carries a magical sword
...more
Marc
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fantasy
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
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Nina Ann
I would call this book a solid three-and-a-half stars, but I bumped it up to four stars because Walter Jon Williams is the man.
Implied Spaces combines fantasy tropes with a high-tech, futuristic multiverse to create a fiction that is both amusing and interesting. If we're being honest, I got a little bored around pages 175-220, but the amount of enjoyment I got out of the first half of the book more than made up for any dullness later. Williams has an exceptional talent for understated humor, a
...more
Terri Weitze
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is all over the place - fortunately, all those places are interesting and creates a fun plot with just enough intensity to keep you turning those pages. Early on the book explains what an "implied space" is by describing "squinches" (yes, it's a real thing). I found the concepts behind this book to be intriguing - in a fun way. I wish I could think of a way to talk about the book without giving spoilers; but the plot changes direction so many times that it could have been a series of s ...more
Jim
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1paper
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
Janos Honkonen
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I remember correctly, this book was recommended to me as an example of proper ultra-tech warfare after I had grumbled so much of military sci-fi has been space marines with space assault rifles. Implied Spaces starts as a low key story, but spins into action that makes Starship Troopers feel utterly quaint.
Michael
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humans almost eternal still making the same mistakes.

Humanity with power and abilities beyond imagination where every idea can come true. Still lurks in the heart of a few the idea that they know what is best for everyone. Read what happens in an universe where anything can happen goes to War.
Sara
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Fun book. Started out as an Arabian flavored sword-and-sorcery novel and then made the switch to something Culture-esque a few chapters in.

I was really, really thrown out of the book when the talking cat made a Leeroy Jenkins joke. I'm still kind of confused about that.
Dan
The beginning of this book was intriguingly ambiguous. I was almost sad when it transitioned from that beginning world to the succeeding settings. But the story remained enjoyable throughout. The story is too sprawling and varied for me to try to summarize, so I'll just recommend that you give the book a reading. I will definitely be reading more of Williams' books.
Garyjn
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book by this author, won't be my last. Well written, imaginative, and entertaining. The existential crises, pod people, rogue AI, pocket universes, wormhole creation...all stuff I like. Would recommend to both SciFi and Fantasy fans.
Anastasia
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cyberpunk
Really fun, great scifi idea of "implied spaces." Walter Jon Williams in his fighting form, living up to his spot as one of my favorite writers. And again, female characters who aren't cardboard cutouts, and who don't suck. And I want to vacation in Hawaiki!
Tasula
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex SF book which has the hero (and other characters) morphing from form to form, universe to universe. Supercomputers, talking cat, megalomaniac, huge battles.
Eric Smith
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Thomas
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like several other of his books better.
Adam Duclos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy
An interestingly done Zelazny clone.
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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
More about Walter Jon Williams...
“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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