As soon as I read today’s topic in the Tuesday Talks group on GoodReads, one book sprang to mind. Not an emotionally difficult read, as I suspect most would think of, but intellectually difficult.
It challenged my perceptions and I had difficulty grasping the concepts and picturing the various states of reality. Even now, I am struggling to properly express what my experience of it was. I feel I need to reread it with the dedicated wiki open (and perhaps a quantum physicist) beside me.
The book? Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief (Tor Books, 2011)
My review? I rated it four out of five stars, but I didn’t write one… I really felt a bit like this one fried my brain. It made me realize that I had become a bit smug about my ability to understand Science Fiction world-building and concepts. It made me confront the fact that I do not generally push myself to read more difficult books. It made me feel as if I had been in conversation with or attending a lecture by an expert in their field, where I came away understanding the words but without a solid grasp of the ideas.
I have since purchased the other books in the trilogy, The Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel, but have not read them. What I am waiting for is a time when I can devote my whole brain to rereading/reading from beginning to end, hoping for some osmosis of the concepts to occur. At least that is what I tell myself – these are the most intimidating books on my shelves.
A difficult read, yes, but I came away from The Quantum Thief with a sense of having accomplished more than just reading a book. I honestly felt like my brain cells had split and multiplied, and that is no small thing.