The book's hero is a 14-year-old Ben Franklin - which indicates that the novel was set in the year 1720, although the year in which the book's events take place is never stated. Newton's Cannon is a work of historical science fiction. Imagine what the world would have been like if Isaac Newton, during his alchemical experiments, had found a way to communicate with the aether. Newton called his creation "philosopher's mercury," not to be confused with the element mercury. This invention is effectively the same as using magic, although with a scientific basis. Thusly, Newton becomes the greatest sorcerer of his time.
Of course, where there is one sorcerer there are bound to be others. And poor Ben, who is apprenticed to his brother in the printing business, finds himself unwittingly caught in the middle of some international intrigue involving disputes between France and Great Britain. Of course, in the presence of this new-found magic, the Franklin brothers are not merely in the possession of a printing press, they have a machine which communicates over vast distances instantaneously. These machines, called aetherschreibers, aren't terribly uncommon. Such miracles are in fact fairly commonplace, and the Franklins merely use one to print up news stories "broadcast" to them from Europe. It is somewhat like our wireless transmissions, only they occur instantaneously via the aether.
Ben Franklin, being a very intellectually-minded and curious young man, begins to experiment with his brother's aetherschreiber and finds a way to "tune" the device to any "frequency," a feat that magicians had either been working on and failed at, or considered very dangerous because it makes it possible to spy on the communications of others. The latter were correct in their fears, and after Ben's innocent discovery, all hell busts loose in the novel.
The plot of Newton's Cannon is not straight-forward, but has many twists and unexpected turns of event. It was enough to keep my interest going, and that's saying quite a lot.
Thread: What'cha Reading?
05-31-2014, 09:17 AM #1681
Review of Newton's Cannon"But you forget that there is one value that is greater than all others: human freedom. Because no matter how perfectly you set the world up for humanity, they will always rebel simply to exert their own selves. You cannot win."
05-31-2014, 03:13 PM #1682
Defying the Crowd: Cultivating Creativity in a Culture of Conformity by Robert J. Sternberg and Todd I. Lubart.
05-31-2014, 07:28 PM #1683
'Orlando' by Virginia Woolf. I've read a few of her other books; enjoying her writing style in this one so far; flows really nicely."...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce
My Photography and Watercolor Fine Art Prints!!! Cascade Colors Fine Art Prints
06-01-2014, 08:44 AM #1684
"A World Restored" by Henry Kissinger. Great book so far.
06-01-2014, 10:01 AM #1685
Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
A country so frozen in time.."There are so many things to battle, why fight yourself?" ~The Thieves
"A fickle heart is the only constant in this world." ~Turnip-Head
~ Melancholic - 70%Si/65%Te/55%Fi/55%Ne - Trainee Regiment ~
06-01-2014, 10:14 AM #1686
Eat, Pray, Love.
J/KI've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!
Each thought's completely warped
I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.
06-01-2014, 11:32 AM #1687
/directive INFJ stuffJohari / Nohari
“That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe
reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga
06-04-2014, 06:03 PM #1688
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
- 4w5 sp
- INFj Ne
I'm feeling like a traitor, I haven't read for weeks. I must read tomorrow or I will die... no, I must study for history class. I'll read a history book. That's it! I'm reading a history book. It's called 'Perspektiv på historien 1b'.
06-04-2014, 06:23 PM #1689
Polite Lies by Kyoko Mori
I recently read Heavier Than Heaven, a Kurt Cobain biography by Charles R. Cross. It's an intriguing read, but flawed as a biography because it crosses the line into fiction at some points (for example, there are details about the last few hours of Cobain's life that no one could possibly know about) and the author presents too many of his own opinions and psychological analyses as the absolute truth.
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.” - Hermann Hesse
06-15-2014, 12:23 AM #1690
Emotional Healing at Warp Speed: The Power of EMDR by David Grand. A fascinating account of a technique for relieving trauma from a psychotherapist. This technique is allegedly able to resolve decades old traumas in a single session.Don't hate me because I'm right and you're not.
By Lark in forum Arts & EntertainmentReplies: 7Last Post: 08-23-2011, 08:40 PM
By Lark in forum Philosophy and SpiritualityReplies: 23Last Post: 09-29-2010, 08:36 PM
[MBTItm] Have you ever had a psychic reading?By Fairy... in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)Replies: 46Last Post: 06-08-2009, 07:30 PM
By Ulaes in forum The BonfireReplies: 3Last Post: 05-13-2009, 12:55 AM