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Traumphysik

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3.13  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
A brilliant young physicist, alone on a Pacific atoll during World War II, begins to chronicle the laws of motion that govern her dreams.
ebook, 19 pages
Published June 29th 2016 by Tor Books
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

A self-described “brilliant” co-ed, after graduating from MIT, volunteers for the war effort in WWII. The Navy assigns her to a small atoll in the Pacific, responsible for periodically sending up a signal light to guide warplanes to their proper destination. She lives there alone, isolated from all human contact except radio communications with the Navy.

To pass the time, the woman begins a set of experiments, on herself and her surroundings, dealing wit
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karen


There is so much more to learn.

review to come.

read it for yourself here:

https://www.tor.com/2016/06/29/traump...
Igrowastreesgrow
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, short-story, free
A fluid motion was given in the story. The progression was very nice. However, the story itself was a bit odd. I did feel for the character but everything else was just whatever.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
This has a very strange and abrupt ending, but I happened to quite like it. Probably because I really enjoyed the writing and tone of the story, and the strangeness. My theory? The whole thing is a lucid dream!
Jen
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-freebie
Really wavering between 4 or 5 stars here. Despite the dream-like quality of the prose and the occasional superiority of the MC, I LOVED the twist ending. So 5 stars it is. Not much for the dreamy bits, but THAT ENDING. Completely perfect. I'm sure this can be read in many ways, but I really like my interpretation of it. Worked for me. Quick read, highly recommended. :)
Hannah
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hmmm.

3.5 stars, but rounded up because science.

I’m actually surprised this short story was included on Tor.com because I read it as a psychological breakdown rather than actual traumphysik. (Traumphysik is dream physics for those not keeping up with the German.) Although, I suppose any aspect of alternate history does fit under the broader speculative fiction label, so it makes more sense in that way.

Also, I’m confused by all the reviews saying they’re confused by the ending. :S Made sense to me
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Marco
Dec 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A very interesting story set during world war II. It is the story of a brilliant young physicist, one of the first women in STEM, that after excelling in her study in the face of gender based discrimination by her peers, enlists to defend her country during the war. She ends up alone on a Pacific atoll, with tons of time to spare. She there decides to chronicle the laws of motion that govern her dreams.
Alex Sarll
Somewhere between that story - is it by Poe? - where the lonely lighthouse-keeper dreams of a bride, and Faraday's wonderful 'All this is a dream. Still, examine it with a few experiments'. But perhaps a little more vengeful, and understandably so.
Kate
Apr 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: tor
Nothing wrong with the writing, and it's quite well-written, I just didn't like the story. The narrator was an abrasive type of proto-feminist I especially disliked, who was glad her male classmates were dying over in Europe. In the end, she betrayed the American war effort, or at least dreamt about it, and she was glad to do so. Granted, the whole narrative could've all been a dream, but I still didn't like her.
Rachel Brand
Not quite as compelling as the others in the collection, but I liked the unreliable narrator and the uncertainty about whether she was really conducting scientific experiments or just going insane from her prolonged isolation. The details about being a female scientist in the 1940s were interesting, and unlike other readers, I felt the twist ending made sense.
Ann
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a short story, not a novel (I didn't know when I bought it). I wonder if Byrne had been reading 'Man in the High Castle' around the time she wrote it; one could imagine the world she's writing about being part of that one.

Anyway. I love her writing, it's just beautiful. She has an excellent way with a phrase, and a poet's way, with a single sentence, of telling you many, many things while holding back the piece you have been lead to expect to see until you've swallowed a lot of lovely,
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karenbee
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: tor-short
Actually, my current situation—isolated, with limited responsibility and an overabundance of free time—is an ideal situation in which to run my dream experiments. I’ve brought with me Professor Gaertner’s text on lucid dreaming. The first step toward lucid dreaming, he posits, is hyperawareness of phenomena in the waking state. For example, I must count the fingers on my left hand several times a day. The reasoning being that, when I do the same thing out of habit within my dream and come up wit
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Sanaa Hyder
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A sleepy story with an intriguing premise, where a lone islander conducts physics experiments in her lucid dreams. Soon, the protagonist learns that things on the island are not what they seem (quite expected given the theme of the story).

I wanted to really like this, but I dunno something fell flat - maybe it was the ending, maybe it wasn't, I don't really know, it was just that kinda story yknow?
Amanda
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, tor
I do enjoy a mysterious plot line and this was a story where the finality of it all couldn't quite be pinned down for me. There's no exact understanding of what went on due to too many questions left unanswered. Depending on how you view it, multiple different scenarios can be drawn from the context. It's all about how far are you're reading into the writing, reading into the character Lucy & her habitat she calls Lucifer.
Bitchin' Reads
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very creepy in her progression toward mental instability.

Reminds me of The Bell Jar and Esther's decline into insanity (I am still in the process of reading it at the moment).

It is interesting that you see this depiction of insanity in women and not in men...well, at least more in women than men. And also in relation to intelligence and success. Things to think on. I would be interested in discussing those points more if anyone would like to do so.
Maggie Gordon
Traumphysik was a very eerie story with an ending that felt very out of place. The narrative spends a lot of time building up this sense that perhaps our narrator isn't the most reliable of people to listen to, but then it drops that train of thought for something completely different. Well written, but disjointed and incomplete feeling.
Ab
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bit lazy to write a review myself. Here are a nice summary and a review.
Rebecca Baldwin
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
It's a nifty little vignette and great character sketch but mostly left me frustrated by the science interruptus.
Jennifer
Was she the experimenter, or the experimentee?
SarahJaneSmith
Really enjoyed this story - pigs and dreams (what a great combination!) got me hooked. The only flaw I see is its shortness... this could be such a great novel!
Jennifer
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks-online, sff, thing
Eh. Maybe I missed something. (view spoiler) I don't know.
Kristen
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Monica is a writer, playwright, and traveler based in Durham, NC. She has a pilot’s license (from when she wanted to be an astronaut), a yoga teacher certification (from when she realized she didn’t want to be an astronaut), and one very-marked-up passport (from when she realized she was an artist). She holds degrees in biochemistry from Wellesley and MIT.

THE GIRL IN THE ROAD is her first novel.
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