October 28, 2010

The greatest science-fiction story ever written Well, somebody thought it was.
  • It's a subjective thing.
  • ...which (SPOILER) is the whole point of the story, and exactly where the "quantum computing" scheme goes wrong. When defining what YOU think is the Best of Anything, you almost always go back to referring to something you've seen/had before (with a few exceptions, like sexual fantasies). That's what made this short short story so good. At least in my subjective opinion.
  • since the wave function didn't collapse until he opened the envelope his friend Caleb merely needs to calculate a probability function for a story that results in the envelope containing the best acceptance letter ever written.
  • So that's how the Bible was written.
  • Funny. And possibly too true.
  • Nightfall's okay, but 'tis also gimmicky in that Asimov in effect redefines what night means. Reminds me of some of O' Henry's short stories, those with a twist in the tail of the tale.
  • Nice one, foop. I don't know whether Nightfall is actually the best imo (it's up there somewhere) but it does have the property of being the only SF short story whose name I can consistently remember.
  • All that matters is that the specific editor the 'quantum story' was sent to thought it was the best.
  • The best comment to this thread? Click here and collapse the wave *.* Previously
  • "A timid ghost, a helicopter pilot, and a tormented football coach disguise themselves as each other." Forgot to add "Hilarity ensues." "Nominated for Writer's Digest Top 101 Most Useful Websites for Writers" My opinion of WD has gone downhill steadily since the days when J. Michael Straczynski wrote the TV column. (Before he wrote Babylon 5, still IMO, the BEST DAMN SCI-FI TV SERIES EVAH! Yeah, that's what collapsed MY wave, baby. The Shadow War, Centauri vs. Narn, Sinclair and Valen, the Psi Corps, the Zocolo, Ivanova's Laws, Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto, Bill(y) Mumy as Lennier, Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar, Walter Koenig as Bester, "No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow." Zathros!!!) But I digress.
  • Billy Mumy goes back to Lost in Space, and 'Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!'
  • EXACTLY! (not to mention Mumy's musical stylings as "Barnes & Barnes" on the Dr. Demento Show) The casting on B5 was brilliant! Trek's Original Chekhov as a Psi Corps bad guy... Animal House's Flounder/St. Elsewhere's Elliot as an alien ambassador's assistant (who by the end of the series rose to become Emperor of his home planet)... Even Tron himself as the second station commander.
  • Wish I'd seen it but I think I was out of the country then.
  • Can't we just design a genetic representation of the story, evaluating the results with a Bayesian classifier previously trained on a corpus work with desirable attributes, and then just hill-climb our way to epic victory? Gosh, I hope not.
  • Erm, corpus of work.