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The World of Null-A por A. E. Van Vogt
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The World of Null-A (original 1948; edição 1977)

por A. E. Van Vogt (Autor)

Séries: Null-A (1)

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1,1272113,630 (3.32)23
A classic novel of non-Aristotelian logic and the coming race of supermen.
Membro:Magmoiselle
Título:The World of Null-A
Autores:A. E. Van Vogt (Autor)
Informação:Berkley Medallion (1977), 190 pages
Colecções:David, A sua biblioteca
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The World of Null-A por A. E. Van Vogt (1948)

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van Vogt, A. E. The World of Null-A. 1948. Revised. Berkley, 1970.
The persistence of a writer’s ego cannot be overestimated. Twenty-five years after the World of Null-A’s original magazine publication, A. E. van Vogt was still bothered enough by a review in a long-gone fanzine that he revised the novel. The revision inspired by the early review from Damon Knight, at the time an unknown critic, substantially shortened the novel. Cutting the fat from an already famous work is not the usual course. What director’s cut of a movie ever made a film shorter? The revision also gave van Vogt an opportunity to explain and defend the novel’s theme, which I am sure was opaque to many readers. In a reasonably distant future, a man named Gosseyn (pronounced “go sane,” says Wikipedia) awakens with amnesia and false memories. The answer to all this involves interacting with a machine intelligence that today we would call a strong AI, cloning, memory implants, non-Aristotelian logic, and the semantic theories of Alfred Korzybski. Korzybski’s subjectivist theories of perception and his distrust of positive assertions based on experience were claimed to be a scientific refutation of Aristotelian logic. The key to it all, van Vogt explains, is that self-identity is defined by the continuity of memory. In the end, it is not as simple as that, and how all the thematic pieces fit together remains nebulous. Korzybski’s ideas just aren’t as valuable as van Vogt seems to think they are. File them in the back of the mental drawer where you keep Dianetics and the philosophy of Ayn Rand. 4 stars as a museum exhibit. ( )
  Tom-e | Oct 11, 2021 |
What an odd novel. It grabbed during the first few chapters but then started getting a little weird when Gosseyn is killed and then wakes up on Venus. I could not follow when & how he learned the Sol was going to be invaded by a Galactic Empire. Part of it, for me, were the passages which tried to explain how Null-A philosophy enabled human brains to transcend themselves. It seemed like a lot of prose was wasted on something that really didn’t make any sense. And yet there are portions of the book that are gripping.
What an odd novel. I wish that this Easton Press edition was a reprint of the 1970 edition that Van Vogt apparently revised in response to Damon Knight’s public criticisms of the book. Was it an improvement over the original? ( )
  Neil_Luvs_Books | Apr 1, 2021 |
This was a reread, although I forget when I originally read it, probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I’d always wanted to finish the trilogy – of which this is the first book – and last year stumbled across copies of The World of Null-A and The Players of Null-A at Fantasticon in Copenhagen and bought them (they were very very cheap, very very very cheap). I have all three books – in the nice NEL editions from the 1970s – and have had them for many years, but they’re in storage at present. Having found cheap copies of the first two, I thought it worth giving them a go. That was a mistake. I mean, I know what van Vogt’s fiction is like. I have, after all, read enough of it. Admittedly, that was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was a teenager. But every book I’ve read by him since I turned, say, thirty, has been awful – except perhaps rereads of the handful of his books I continue to think are not absolutely awful, such as The Undercover Aliens. Gilbert Gosseyn is in the city to take part in the Games, in which thousands participate, all overseen by a giant computer brain. Players are given jobs depending on how far they reach in the Games. But it turns out Gosseyn’s life is a complete lie – someone has implanted memories in him that are simply not true. And given that on the night before the Games start all laws in the city are temporarily rescinded and people lock themselves away in groups for safety… but Gosseyn’s identity can’t be established so he’s forced out onto the streets, where he meets a young woman and the two look out for each other… But it turns out she’s the daughter of the president, and it’s all a plot as the president is trying to destroy the giant computer brain, because there’s some secret galactic empire that wants to invade the earth… And Gosseyn was more or less grown to order to foil the secret galactic empire’s plans because… he has two brains! Or is it minds? I forget. And all this is wrapped around some guff about non-Aristotelian, or “null-A”, logic, which seems to be basically non-binary logic, or fuzzy logic. But, of course, binary logic is for computers, not people, so it’s not entirely clear what van Vogt is going on about. But then, that’s true of a lot of Golden Age science fiction: it’s complete bollocks, written by people who had no idea what the fuck they were wittering on about, but it managed to impress the shit out of poorly-socialised thirteen year old boys. And from such was a genre born. The really scary part of all this is not that the writers actually believed the shit they were peddling, or even that some were quite cynical about it – hello Elron and that evil “religion” you invented! – but that many adult fans were just as impressionable as those thirteen year olds. Van Vogt famously based his writing on the advice given by a how to write book – and there’s another genre entirely dependent on gullibility – chief among which was that scenes should be 800 words long and end on a cliff-hanger. Van Vogt took this advice, well, literally. And reading his books is like watching a magician pull a series of increasingly unlikely series of creatures out of a hat when you actually turned up to see a drag queen lipsynch the hits of Rihanna. I connected with a few of van Vogt’s novels as a young teenager, which mistakenly led me to believe he was an author whose oeuvre I should explore. And during the 1970s and 1980s, I bought and read his books. They were readily available in WH Smith during that period. But reading his books now, nearly forty years later… I’m slightly embarrassed at having been taken in all those years ago. He was an appalling writer, and the level of his success is mystifying. That people continue to champion him tells you more about them than, well, you really want to know. He’s a lot like Asimov in that respect. The World of Null-A is typical van Vogt and really quite bad. This is not surprising. One for fans of van Vogt, I suspect. And if you’re a fan of van Vogt, I can only ask… why? ( )
  iansales | Jan 23, 2020 |
Set in a world where a version of the "Hunger Games", determines the future of human beings this is quite a feat for a Manitoba farm boy. Perhaps Van Vogt's best book, the questions of philosophical knowledge and human identity are explored. Not great art, but quite an interesting read. I read an ace books edition in 1967. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 27, 2019 |
I can tell how this guy was a big influence on Philip K. Dick, but the bizareness of his ideas is upstaged by the lack of his skill in storytelling. ( )
1 vote DF1158 | Oct 20, 2019 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (8 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Vogt, A. E. Vanautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Brumm, WalterTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Difate, VincentArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Emshwiller, EdArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Groot, RuurdArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, EddieArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lehr, PaulArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Manso, LeoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mattingly, DavidArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pennington, BruceArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Peyton, MarkArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Powers, RichardArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stoovelaar, FrankArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Valla, RiccardoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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A classic novel of non-Aristotelian logic and the coming race of supermen.

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