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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we've followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out.

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ebook, 39 pages
Published September 25th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review first published on Oh Just SFF.

A beautifully written short that seems disturbing and unnatural on the surface of it, but you slowly start to realize that it isn't entirely unlikely for something like circadian rhythm changes to affect the structure of society as a whole.

Focusing on the microcosm of Sam's family with the backdrop of society as whole, we get a glimpse into how it changes the life of each person. This story touches on the effect on a human level, and not just on a
Kelly Spoer
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I hate/love short fiction.

Mostly because when I really get into it, all of a sudden it stops. ends.



but tbh, i found the ending to be to "eh"
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-freebie
Meh. Didn’t do anything for me. 2 stars because the familial relationships in this were well written.
Rosemary Standeven
Six-year-old Emma is not sleeping when she should. Her whole body-clock is way out of kilter, and nothing her parents can do will alter it. My initial impression was – spoilt brat! Her parents become increasingly worried, but hoping that

All they had to do was gently pull her back in synch with the rest of the world

Soon they discover, it is not just Emma, but hundreds of thousands of people – of all ages and all backgrounds, world-wide – are suffering from the same disorder. There is no
Kam Yung Soh
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
An interesting tale by Greg Egan. Unlike the usual 'Hard SF' stories he has written in the past, this one has little that is actual Hard SF, apart from the biology that forms the premise of the story. Instead, the story concentrates on the actions and emotions of the characters as their inner clocks get out of sync with that of the sun and with each other.

The story starts off with their daughter unexpectedly waking up alert in the middle of the night. Then other people around the world also
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great short story centred on a family - two parents and a daughter - when people across the world snap out of sync with the day. Intriguing concept wonderfully progressed.
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
How do you stop a disease that has no known cure?

The premise of this tale grabbed my attention immediately. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly have one’s circadian rhythm change without warning and with no explanation of why it was happening. It was a problem that was ordinary enough for me to imagine myself in these character’s shoes while also mysterious enough to create some memorable plot twists. This is one of my favorite types of science fiction, and I couldn’t wait to
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
What would happen if circadian rhythms started to not sync up?
What caused it, how long would it take to diagnose, what problems would result, and what would be some of the solutions?

This short fiction touches on all of these in a thought-provoking way. Although it could have used some clarity with the time jumps that sometimes happened between chapters without notice, the writing was good and the concept & follow through were singular.

Content: No sex/nudity or violence, a couple instances
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Didn't fully work for me in some sections (e.g. a character being able to identify her own internal clock, separate from an external one, to within 10-minute precision - I know that some people do have a very acute sense of time, but, personally, while I can estimate elapsed time during an activity, my general time sense is in half-hour-to-hour increments - and only to external time, despite having a fairly messy and shifted sleep cycle) but the story did keep me interested overall.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another superb short story by one of my favourite SF authors. If he has a fault, it is that his stories often contain such technical complexities that I have trouble following what he is trying to say (my problem not his). Not an issue, however, with this story which is well written and fascinating albeit it seemed to finish early with a lot more story line to come..
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-story
Great sci-fi short story centered on an intriguing "What if?": what if people started having their circadian rhythms detached from the natural day/night cycle? This story follows one family as society adapts to this new circumstance.

It ends more abruptly than I'd have preferred, but it's a good story and we'll worth your time.
Jo Oehrlein
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
Interesting seeing the daughter's reaction to the pills.

Like the concept of the slipping time frame -- the natural circadian rhythm being more than 24 hours so your natural wake time moves daily.

Cool on the logistics of setting up schools and things for the free running kids.

And interesting to see the potential implications of trying to force people to be awake at the wrong times.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is the first thing from Greg Egan that's ever disappointed me. The premise isn't very clever. The story doesn't go anywhere. I was expecting a lot more. Maybe that was my problem. There was an arc but I was expecting a twist ending.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
great short novel which you will read in on shot before (maybe) going to bed.. but it kind of fall short in the end.. maybe couple of more page to wrap / twist it up would have make it great!
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Zoe's Human
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A significant portion of the population suddenly finds their sleep schedules jumped 12-hours out of synch. An interesting premise but the story didn't really feel like it went anywhere.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was amazing and horrifying all at once. And it made me miss having a kid.
Janet Martin
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like this. It would be an interesting world. I wonder if something like this could happen and if it would be like permanent jet lag?
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novelette is on my list of the Best Short SFF of October 2019:
4 stars

This was an interesting concept.
Not as unlikely as it may seem.
Well written, with believable and realistic reactions.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good Egan short story

This is another interesting Greg Egan story. It's middle of the pack as far as Egan stories go, using a common theme of his fiction: that some external agent fundamentally changes society and creates new cultures that wish to preserve themselves.
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Nov 21, 2019
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Jan 11, 2020
Tarah Tipton-black
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Oct 10, 2019
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Oct 01, 2019
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Jan 13, 2020
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Sep 28, 2019
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Greg Egan specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness. Other themes include genetics, simulated reality, posthumanism, mind transfer, sexuality, artificial intelligence, and the superiority of rational naturalism over religion.

He is a Hugo Award winner (and has been shortlisted for the Hugos three other times),
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“Emma smiled thinly. “The pills say wake up, and we wake up. We won’t ever fall asleep at the wrong time again. But it’s like being an animal in a factory farm, pushed along between the rails, going wherever you want us to go.” 0 likes
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