[Other Days Other Eyes Read online] Ebook By Bob Shaw

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No toy at all when blackmailers discovered how to use it to see into the secret life of any victim and government officials found it could permit surveillance of any person any time anywhe. My appreciation for Bob Shaw is growing Second book of his I ve read that deal with optics blindness and vision Alban Garrod is a scientist that discovered some sort of glass that delays the passage of visible radiation through it A series of intertwined plots regarding the glass properties applied to criminal cases and the main character s struggle to free himself from the shackles of a marriage for convenience are well narrated in this slim tomeThe bonus Jane Wason Gosh I want of her

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Other Days Other Eyes

Ars It stopped being a toy when great new jeliners began to crash caraccidents multiplied astronomically and a mounting toll of deaths and disasters revealed its true potential And it was. 4 stars for creeping me out with it s prescience We don t have slow glass but we have cameras everywhere and social media pressuring us to relieve us of our own privacy for the edification of people who shouldn t matter to us anyway Some bits of excellent writing flashes of beautifully crafted sentences and images that will stay with me a while Sexist in the way that SFF in the 70s all seemed to be but not jarring enough that it removed me from the story Sigh I really do need to get back to longer better reviews

Bob Shaw Ì 6 characters

Slow glass was an amusing scientific toy Light traveled through it so slowly that looking through a pane of it you might see what had happened five minutes ago on the other side or five ye. Bob Shaw s story Light of Other Days 1966 is one of the great classics of science fiction In a mere ten pages or so it succeeded in introducing a brand new concept to sf a rarer even than many of us would like to think while also generating a genuine and very poignant feeling of empathy for its central character who is not its narrator A suabbling couple are driving through the Scottish Highlands when they come across a slow glass farm Slow glass is a crystalline structure through which to simplify light passes very slowly it can thus be used to observe past scenes The farmer is allowing sheets of the stuff to absorb the light from the spectacular local countryside so that purchasers can take them home to watch those scenes over the months and years to come As the couple haggle with each other a young woman and an infant watch them from time to time from the farmhouse window By story s end they discover that these are the farmer s wife and child killed six years ago by a hit and run driver The slow glass in his window is preserving for him the illusion that they re still alive But for how much longerShaw published two slow glass stories both good though neither as powerful as the first Burden of Proof 1967 a barbaric judge sentences a convicted murderer to die even though in five years the proof of the man s innocence may emerge on the far side of a pane of slow glass and A Dome of Many Colored Glass 1972 a sadistic Chinese official torments a prisoner by fixing to his eyes slow glass modules containing footage of Western atrocities like My Lai There was also a late and very different addendum to the corpus The Edge of Time 1979 co authored with Malcolm Harris and published in an anthology edited by yours truly Aries 1 Here the conceit is that there are not one but two time dimensions Presence and Change and that what s really expanding in our expanding universe is the Change dimension Serflike pilots take investigatory craft to the boundaries of this bubble and flirt with the skin of the time so as to send back scientific data One of these pilots his instruments destroyed by sabotage uses the onboard slow glass cunningly in order to plot his way home or so at least he thinksBack in those days if you wrote a successful series of stories the next thing you did was construct out of them a novel or a fixup as the CluteNicholls Encyclopedia of Science Fiction somewhat ungraciously called this mercenary literary form Shaw s slow glass fixup Other Days Other Eyes was one of his clumsier efforts The three primary stories are thrown in as interspersed sidelights and have nothing aside from slow glass in common with the rest of the plot which sees Al Garrod the inadvertent inventor of slow glass transform himself into a plutocrat industrialist while developing new techniues to enhance the stuff s versatility and usefulness In the process he must deal with his bitch wife solve two pretty implausible murder mysteries only one of which involves slow glass finally bring a somewhat gauche and jejune extramarital romance to its consummation and in general fill enough pages for the publishers to market this as a full length novel This framing material does take the opportunity to fix a few technical glitches with the original concept such as explaining why light passing through the slow glass at an angle doesn t take perceptibly longer to reach the other side but it almost entirely ducks until the very end the practical and ethical problems generated by the introduction of any widespread means of looking into the past the havoc of suddenly creating the ultimate surveillance society as envisaged by Isaac Asimov in his 1956 novella The Dead Past and vastly expanded upon by Arthur C Clarke and Steve Baxter in their 2000 novel The Light of Other Days Towards the end of Other Days Other Eyes there s a nod to this concern via occasional mention of a vigilante style Privacy League which runs around throwing bricks through slow glass windows but it s only in the final pages when Garrod discovers the government has been spraying the entire nation with slow glass dust so that no longer can anything at all be kept secret that Shaw properly acknowledges the fell purposes to which his invention could be putThere are occasional moments of high silliness The bitch wife who stupidly blinds herself by refusing to obey Garrod s instructions to make herself scarce from an experiment that s about to blow is given a replacement form of sight in the form of essentially contact lenses made out of slow glass this way she can see again even if everything she sees is a day or two late Watching TV involves a ludicrously elaborate palaver in order to record the soundtrack and synchronize it with her watching But if that techniue can be made to work I hear you cry why not simply make the lenses out of ordinary glass so she could see everything in real time It s not a uestion I can answerShaw was rarely if ever a tedious writer so the pages of Other Days Other Eyes kept turning rapidly enough but here he seems to be bored as if writing the fixup was not something he actually wanted to do but undertook merely in order to keep agent publisher and bank manager happy I wonder if he had his tongue firmly in his cheek when writing about the slow glass contact lenses was he testing to see if his publisher would notice the illogicality There s a surprisingly smutty sex scene that seems there primarily to keep the writer s interest from flagging and here s the moment when Garrod has the flash of insight that enables him to solve the first of the two murder mysteriesHis knees felt loose his heart had lapsed into an unsteady lumping rhythm and a chill extended downward from stomach to groin In his head there was a pressure which rapidly built up to a peak and exploded in a kind of psychic orgasm p96It never happened to Ellery ueen uite like that I m pretty sure


10 thoughts on “Other Days Other Eyes

  1. says:

    Science fiction writers often miss out on the credit they're due for correctly predicting the future just because they got

  2. says:

    At last year's Boring conference a concrete enthusiast demonstrated a block which did some very strange things with light and made me think of Bob Shaw's 'slow glass' a crystal which lets light through but only minutes or years after the event so that you're left with a literal window on the past This book features his original short storie

  3. says:

    Bob Shaw's story Light of Other Days 1966 is one of the great classics of science fiction In a mere ten pages or so it succeeded in introducing a brand new concept to sf a rarer even than many of us would like to think whi

  4. says:

    Other Days Other Eyes is another of those 'forgotten' 70s science fiction novels that I've been hunting down recently This was one of Bob Shaw's sci fi classics as it explored this new concept of 'slow glass' an innovative type of glass that co

  5. says:

    Is it an anthology or a fix up? Does it matter? Shaw came up with a simple idea which in the hands of another author may have resulted in one decent story Shaw does than that He spends time thinking through the implications not for great pyrotechnical sci fi effect but for ordinary people; the small differences that one thing one invention can make to a life Shaw used to refer to these clever ideas and the development

  6. says:

    4 stars for creeping me out with it’s prescience We don’t have slow glass but we have cameras everywhere and social media pressur

  7. says:

    Occasionally you read a science fiction book that not only explores the future but holds up a dark mirror to our p

  8. says:

    This book was written in 1972 A book I read and liked in my teens so I decided to re read to see how it has survived the passage of timeThe concept behind the book is brilliant a scientist invents a form of glass so dense that light can take years to pass through With experimentation the project is commercialised to produce a new product slow glass Ten year slow glass windows for example can be set over a beaut

  9. says:

    My appreciation for Bob Shaw is growing Second book of his I've read that deal with optics blindness and vision Alban Garrod is a scientist that discovered some sort of glass that delays the passage of visible radiation through it A series of intertwined plots regarding the glass properties applied to criminal cases and the main character's struggle to free himself from the shackles of a marriage for convenience are wel

  10. says:

    This is one of the best science fiction books I have ever read and I read a lot of science fiction I think about this book often The idea of slow glass and its impact on how the characters behave and react to it was very realistic 1010 would recommend to anyone who loves sci fi and introspection

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