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Posts Tagged ‘Wolfgang Jeschke’

The Week in Review

October 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

 

  • This must have taken a massive amount of time, and it looks like it was entirely worth it. Helm’s Deep, in Lego. Awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

The Tor/Forge newsletter went out this week! Check out these fascinating articles from our authors:

And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

On The Cusanus Game

October 7, 2013 3 comments

Written by Ross Benjamin, Translator

In The Cusanus Game, German author Wolfgang Jeschke tells a story at once exciting and philosophically far-reaching. In the mid-twenty-first century, a nuclear disaster near the French-German border has devastated a broad swath of Europe. In Rome – a city increasingly beset by the disastrous consequences of climate change and overrun by neo-fascist gangs preying on foreign refugees who have fled from the intolerable environmental conditions to the south – Domenica Ligrina has just completed her studies in botany. She and other scientists are recruited by the Vatican to take part in a secret time travel project: to journey to fifteenth-century Germany and collect plants and seeds with which the ravaged nature of the present can be revived. In Cologne of 1451, however, Domenica is accused of witchcraft and condemned to burn at the stake. She places her hope in Cardinal Nicolaus Cusanus, to whom she writes letters from prison.

Domenica has long been fascinated with the remarkably prescient ideas of this theologian-philosopher, who was a confidant of the Pope. As Jeschke shows, Cusanus’s cosmological thinking anticipates the theories of the multiverse in contemporary theoretical physics that are central to the plot and structure of The Cusanus Game. The game of the title was invented by Cusanus (and discussed in his work De Ludo Globi) to teach its players important principles of life and the world: The object is to throw a ball with a slight dent in it onto a board with concentric circles such that it spirals toward and comes to rest in the center; however, the dent ensures that the ball will never reach the center. A character in the novel explains the point of the game as training its players “to sustain defeats lightheartedly and good-humoredly” and yet to keep striving closer to the goal of perfection despite the obstacles that the fundamental unpredictability of events will always put in our path.

Domenica’s journey turns out not only to embody these themes, but also to mimic the “erratic path” of the ball in Cusanus’s game. As she lives out different possible timelines in alternate universes and repeatedly faces the dark abysses of human violence, destruction, and suffering, she seeks to set our world on a more sustainable course. She learns that every choice creates another parallel universe, but that not all universes can survive: like a living organism, the multiverse is constantly evolving, and Domenica eventually encounters extraordinary beings that play a role in its self-correcting process of development.

The Cusanus Game is a powerful novel of ideas seamlessly woven into a time travel adventure story. Its elaborately labyrinthine plot mirrors the spiraling game board as previously narrated events repeatedly follow new trajectories, while at the same time the protagonist’s experiences lead her to ever greater understanding and sense of purpose. The interplay between these different levels – personal and cosmological stakes, scientific and theological perspectives, environmental and metaphysical missions – makes the novel a profound and thrilling read.

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Starred Review: The Cusanus Game by Wolfgang Jeschke

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

“Jeschke’s epic is a mind-expanding SF thriller that will grab readers and shake them up.”

Wolfgang Jeschke’s The Cusanus Game got a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Here’s the full review, from the August 26th issue:

 In the year 2052, the world is collapsing after a nuclear disaster in Germany that lethally irradiated parts of Europe and accelerated the ongoing social breakdown. Domenica Ligrina is a young botanist living in Rome, now a violent, nearly abandoned borderland of cultural clashes. She is offered a mysterious job by the Papacy that could restore Europe’s obliterated flora, and soon she learns that the work involves retrieving seeds from the Middle Ages—specifically the age of her hero, the scientist cardinal Nicolaus Cusanus. This is only one piece of a vast convoluted puzzle spread across both her life and the multiverse that constantly drops paradoxical hints from past, future, present, and alternate todays. “What is reality?” the story asks, and the answer is predictably complex and far-reaching. Jeschke’s epic is a mind-expanding SF thriller that will grab readers and shake them up. (Oct.)

The Cusanus Game will be published on October 15th.

The Week in Review

September 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

  • Unfortunately, the weekend, and this week, weren’t all good news. Frederik Pohl and A.C. Crispin have both died. Both will be greatly missed.
  • Check out this wonderful trailer for “Flight From Shadow,” a fan-made movie set in the world of The Wheel of Time.
  • WorldCon wasn’t the only convention last weekend – it was also Dragon*Con, a fan convention that’s become incredibly well known for its elaborate cosplay. Epbot’s Jen has shared some of her favorite cosplay from the con. Don’t forget to check out her own White Rabbit cosplay!

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

The Week in Review

August 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.


 

  • This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March of Washington for equal rights. It’s also the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, considered one of the best speeches of the 20th century. Watch the full speech, above. It’s entirely worth the time.
  • Have you grabbed your free copy of Five Years of Stories from Tor.com? If not, do it now, because the free download ends this weekend!
  • Are you a fan of getting to know your favorite authors in a more casual setting than a bookstore event? Author Mary Robinette Kowal wants to visit your parlour.
  • Earlier this year, a number of bloggers were invited to visit the set of the upcoming Ender’s Game movie. Now, they’re releasing info about those visits, including some juicy behind-the-scenes looks at the movie! Check out posts from the folks at io9, Slash Film, Collider, EnderWiggin.net, and Ender’s Ansible, to name just a few!

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

Goodreads Sweepstakes: The Cusanus Game by Wolfgang Jeschke

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

About The Cusanus GameBiologist Domenica Ligrina fears her planet is dying. She might be right.

An atomic disaster near the French-German border has contaminated Northern Europe with radioactivity. Economic and political calamities are destroying the whole planet. Human DNA is mutating, plant species are going extinct, and scientists are feverishly working on possible solutions. It becomes increasingly apparent that the key to future salvation lies in the past. In 2052 a secret research facility in the Vatican is recruiting scientists for a mission to restore the flora of the irradiated territories. The institute claims to have time travel. When Domenica’s sometime-lover tells her that he knows her future but that she must decide her own fate, she enlists despite his ambiguous warning.

The Middle Ages hold Domenica spellbound. She immerses herself in the mysteries, puzzles, and peculiarities of a culture foreign to her, though she risks changing the past with effects far more disastrous than radiation poisoning. Perhaps there is more than one Domenica, and more than one catastrophe.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends September 17)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!