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The Copenhagen Interpretation

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
2011 BSFA Award nominee for Best Short Fiction.
ebook, 19 pages
Published July 2011 by Asimov's
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I've been trying to read all of this year's speculative fiction short story award nominees. At the same time, I realized that I didn't finish reading all of last year's, and it made me look through a few of the more recent years' lists as well. When I saw Cornell's name on the lists I paid attention because I really liked London Falling and I know how popular his comic books are as well. I quickly found out that this is Cornell's third short story about Jonathan Hamilton, so I read the other two ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Read as part of the 2012 Hugo Voter Packet.

A quirky Science Fiction / Alternate Universestory, nominally beginning in Copenhagen, and ending up in orbit, designed entirely around playing with the scientific term of the same name. Realising I'd heard of the scientific expression before, I looked it up before reading, and was quite glad, as Cornell seems to very deliberately have several scenes which are deliberately designed with multiple interpretations, including the final one. Had I not suspec
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
This story has some interesting ideas here and there, and it's a cool mix of hard science fiction and spy thriller (and alternate history, apparently, which would explain a lot). But I couldn't really get into it or care about any of the characters; I didn't realize it was part of a series. Plus, in the end, it's three characters delivering long monologues of backstory interspersed with action scenes written with excessive use of exclamation points. The whole thing is kind of a mess, really.
Norman Cook
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
This is an alternate history, the third in a series about a spy named Jonathan Hamilton. It is self-contained, but there are definite hints that it would be more enjoyable if one were familiar with the earlier works. The conceit is that in this world quantum mechanical devices exist which perform tasks that seem almost magical. I enjoyed this story, but felt like I was reading an excerpt from a novel.
Mike Ehlers
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Short story, read online.

Hard story to get into, even tho I think I've read a story in this series before. Very ornate setting, combining old European court manners with sci fi "folds" and weapons and space travel. Good action, but not that satisfying in the end.
I suspect this is a very clever story, but it happens to be of a subgenre I have no interest in reading. The alternate history of science was interesting, though.

Also, wow, that was a lot of exclamation marks!
Jun 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting world, reminding me of Michael Swanwick's Darger and Surplus stories. I'm not sure what to call it, retro-future maybe?

However, this feels like a part of something bigger, nothing about the tech or the setting is explained much, so it's pretty confusing.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)

Couldn't get into it.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Another Hugo-nominated short story. I liked the world a lot, and enjoyed the puzzle of discovering it. However, it was left more scattered and bleak than I prefer.
Steven Halter
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Jul 23, 2012
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Apr 10, 2012
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Paul Cornell is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy prose, comics and television. He's been Hugo Award-nominated for all three media, and has won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, and the Eagle Award for his comics. He's the writer of Saucer Country for Vertigo, Demon Knights for DC, and has written for the Doctor Who TV series. His new urban fantasy novel is London Falling, out fr ...more
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