Talk:Dragon's Egg

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Good article Dragon's Egg has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
January 7, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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Gravitational Time Dilation?[edit]

I am only in my second year of a Physics degree so my understanding could be terribly flawed however shouldn't the low gravitational potential at the surface of the dense neutron star lead to time running slower there than for the human observers at a relatively high gravitational potential? Therefore one would expect that the creatures would live slower than humans - not faster than them. In fact from the perspective of the cheela, it would appear as if humans were the ones living at a rapid speed. I should clarify that I haven't read the book and below someone explains the differences in speeds as the result of their chemistry using the strong nuclear force rather than the electromagnetic force. However, I find it strange that such a hard sci-fi book apparently ignores the effects of General Relativity? Alexgmcm (talk) 10:44, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

This is a good point. As you said, the relative speed difference is due to nuclear chemistry. Simply because the strong nuclear force is much stronger (and faster) than the weak electric force. However, the book doesn't directly address the gravitational time dilation. So, let's address it here. Gravitational time dilation can be approximated by the following equation for non-rotating solid sphere (not quite the neutron star -- it's certainly rotating -- but as an order-of-magnitude approx):
And Escape Velocity is given by:
Which, for Egg in the book, is said to be 0.39c. Doing some quick algebra, notice that the gravitational time dialation is just:
Meaning that the time dialation effect is:
For every tick of a clock far away from Egg, a clock on egg ticks .92 times. Note that this ratio and effect is insignificant when compared to the ratio between the relative "speed" of nuclear reactions to electronic reactions. In fact, it's pretty insignificant anyway. However, as the escape velocity for the surface of a nuetron star approaches c (as it is in a black hole) this effect certainly does become meaningful. Forward likely chose the star's size to be what it is to keep things (relatively) simple. ;-) Peryeat (talk) 21:46, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Original Idea[edit]

Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End features a passing remark of life on the surface of a neutron star in one of the dream sequences. As this novel is published in 1953 it could be possible Forward had heard of it before writing his own work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.106.150.178 (talk) 11:43, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Possibly - many ideas start as hints here and there. But there's a big difference between hints and a physical model or even worldbuilding. If Forward thought the model used in the novel was based on Drake's, we have to accept him. --Philcha (talk) 05:22, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Minimal Characterization!?[edit]

At the time of this writing, the acticle says (in an objective fashion) that this book -- "like other hard science fiction stories" -- suffers from minimal characterization. I couldn't disagree more! I was so moved by the stories of the cheela lives -- and not just the grand civilization, but of the individual characters. Switft-killer and Pink-Eyes in particular had such strong and reccognizable personalities, that they helped turn the cheela into a real "people". I found myself moved to tears both at the christological execution of pink-eyes, and during the determined self-sacrificing climb of Swift-Killer. They were not technical hard-science physics objects. They were extremely powerful characters -- as were many other cheela who appeared throughout the story. I can't help but think that the writer of that statement had either not read the book and assumed there must be a lack of characterization, or had read it, and lacked the imagination to assign human weight to such non-human creatures. I will remove this statement from the article. If anyone disagrees with this, I'd like to see a defence of their stance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 150.148.0.65 (talk) 20:31, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Star Trek Voyager[edit]

The star Trek Voyager episode "Blink of an eye." uses this exact same story line. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.49.62.252 (talk) 01:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

True, and it should be added to this article. There are some sources on Blink of an eye. Viriditas (talk) 01:23, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
If article Blink of an eye is accurate, the only similarity is that the aliens in episode "Blink of an eye" lived very much faster than humans - but possibility a result of an unexplained a tachyon field, while the cheela naturally live a million faster because their "chemistry" is driven by the strong force rather than electromagnetism. In other respects "Blink"'s aliens quite different: they live on a planet, not a collapsed star; appear roughly human-sized; they appear comfortable with human-level gravity; their life processes can be slowed down, by some Feredation medical technique that is not fully unexplained, and the article does not specifiy how the surviving alien explorer is returned to his normal speed. --Philcha (talk) 07:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
"Blink of an Eye" pays homage to Dragon's Egg, and the similarities are numerous. Tuvok's description of the planet is actually that of a neutron star, and the plot points in the VOY episode are identical to the book, from the worship of the ship by the Cheela to the development of culture and technology, to the sending of messages to the ship, to the development of propulsion technology, to eventually meeting with and communicating with the ship. Obviously, we need good sources to include any mention, but the story similarities are perfectly obvious and the details you are zooming in on aren't really important due to the adaptation requirements. When a story goes from the page to the screen, there are a lot of changes, and non-humanoids are mostly always turned into humanoids so that the viewer can identify with the film. Try reading The Prestige and then watching the film. It really makes you wonder what the book had to do with it. This is par for the course with film adaptations. Viriditas (talk) 09:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Your comment "It really makes you wonder what the book had to do with it" compared The Prestige and the film of the same name - but applied equally to Dragon's Egg and Blink of an eye. If Tuvok's description of the planet is actually that of a neutron star, then Blink of an eye's human-sized aliens are ridiculous, for the reasons explained in Dragon's Egg and its appendices and in the citations in the WP articles about Dragon's Egg. The sequence in which the aliens develop civilisation is not directly based on that of Dragon's Egg, because it has been a commonplace of books on broad-scale history for several decades - the invention of agricultural creates a food surplus, abling some members to do non-feeding works (typically soldiers and rulers, then priests, then craftsmen). The writers of Blink of an eye may have aware of Dragon's Egg, but the final product was very different. --Philcha (talk) 10:04, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
But, like the novel and film adaptation of The Prestige, Dragon's Egg and "Blink of an Eye" are thematically similar and share many of the same ideas. I don't think the Star Trek franchise is considered "hard science fiction" so any adaptation would automatically change the characters for the purposes of television. Nevertheless, if we don't have sources comparing the two works, we can't add it here. Clearly, the sources used in the VOY article are not reliable, so we shouldn't use them. The obvious similarity between the two stories cannot be denied. Viriditas (talk) 11:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Someone's added a para about Blink of an Eye. AFAIK the 2nd cite does not mention Dragon' Egg. I'll wait and see what the GA reviewer thinks of the 1st cite. --Philcha (talk) 23:55, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Hey everyone! I'm the guy who added the "Blink of an Eye" note. I recently watched that Voyager episode for the first time, and after watching for only 5 minutes, I was sure that the storyline was ripped-off from a book that I read a long time ago. Only I couldn't remember the name of the book, and Wikipedia didn't have any info. So, after I finally remembered, I added the info to the "Blink of an Eye" article, and to this one. The first source is weak, but I think sufficient, unless there's a disagreement among us editors over the validity of the information (we're almost never going to get first-rate sources for TV-related stuff like this). I added the second reference only as a source for the plot-line details I mentioned. I hope that we can keep this in the article in some form, because I would have liked having this info when I was looking for it! --Jonovision (talk) 00:46, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I suggest "One reviewer suggested that ..." I'm mostly a moderate inclusionist, so would be reluctant to scrap that point out right. But the parallel is very loose and there's one source, so I think readers should be told that this is just one reviewer's opinion. --Philcha (talk) 06:56, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, he's not the only guy who has pointed it out, but I didn't want to include other low-quality sources, like this [1] --Jonovision (talk) 20:01, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Dragon's Egg/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jezhotwells (talk) 17:41, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I shall be reviewing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its nomination for Good Article status.

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    This article is very well written, I have one minor quibble. Should the word cheela when first introduced in the lead have quote marks?
    That appears to have been resolved by now. =P --Twilight Helryx 16:50, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    I was actually suggesting that they might be a useful addition, but I shall wait until the nominator returns from wikibreak. Jezhotwells (talk) 16:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    Oh, sorry. I thought it was the other way around. ^^" Anyway, is this something we should let the nom do (assuming he/she agrees), or can anyone add them in?--Twilight Helryx 17:07, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    All online links are live. Reference # 21 [2] doesn't mention the book and I am not sure it is an RS; same for ref #22 [3], which appeasr to be a wiki; ASGF for the print source. References 1, 3 & 4 would be better formatted in the form "Forward, pp. 287-289", etc. in my opinion as unless the wikilink is clicked it is not immediately clear what the reference is. Wikilinked billion (Two instances - probably the short scale as that is the common US usage), starquakes, rejuvenation, ull (in reference 25) Green tickY
    Several points there, I've started sections #References and #Terms. --Philcha (talk) 23:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    OK, just a few minor points mentioned above, which I feel should be addressed. On hold. Jezhotwells (talk) 18:03, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
    Fine, good to go. I am happy to confirm that this article is worthy of GA status, thanks for you hard work. Jezhotwells (talk) 01:37, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
    Hi, Jezhotwells, thanks for:
    taking on an unusual genre.
    the quick response once I was in play. --Philcha (talk) 06:17, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

References[edit]

  • I agreed with the objection Blink_of_an_Eye_(episode), and this diff removed the sfdebris page. If these fall, I think so does all the material about "Blink_of_an_Eye". --Philcha (talk) 00:12, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I can't find any Rs for this, mostly forum postings, twitter, etc. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • What you mean by "ASGF for the print source" - is this an WP-speak I've missed? --Philcha (talk)
    • Sorry Philcha, I mean Assume Good Faith, an extra S crept in. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • As a reader I find chapter / section titles much more useful than pages, as titles work for various editions / printings and for various languages (Dragon's Egg in 6 languages). How about "Forward: Dragon's Egg (technical)", e.g., all linking to the main "Bibliography" details. --Philcha (talk) 00:12, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
    • That is fine. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
      • I think I got all them. Thanks for making me thinking about this, one of these days WP will get a referencing method that will informs users as well as support WP:V. --Philcha (talk) 03:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Terms[edit]

  • I'd prefer to avoid any explanation of the "billion" issue - for example I can't remember the book's go into this. Standard in WP is "adopt of the author's dialect", and I'm happy to use (implictly) 10^9 although I'm a Brit. How do recent UK SF authors get round this? --Philcha (talk) 00:40, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm of Irish origin and am used to the original Brit usage (which I boringly cite on occasion) of 10^12, but I think 10^9 is almost universal now and the author is American so if they actually say billion I guess they mean 10^9 and it would be better to link to that - it is a factor of 10^3 after all. On reading WP on long and short scales I see that the common UK usage is now short scale 10^9 (no-one told me!). User:JezhotwellJezhotwells (talk) 01:02, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
      • billion (10^9) in lead - i.e. assume 10^9 in the text, but link to explicit 10^9. No-one told me too (that 10^9 is now common UK usage) - it's now official, I'm an old fart. --Philcha (talk)
  • starquakes, and rejuvenation now have specific links - sorry, I forget to use the DAB tool when nomination. --Philcha (talk) 00:40, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Stableford, B.M. (2006). "Forward, Robert Lull". Science fact and science fiction: an encyclopedia. CRC Press. p. 191. ISBN 0415974607. Retrieved 15 Nov 2009.  is a fake use of ull as the book uses some silly typography for the middle name Lull
  • How about my comment about cheela. It is not neccessarily a big deal, but it did leap out at me. Jezhotwells (talk) 01:02, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I'd drop the quotes rather than go into a MOS analyis - gone. --Philcha (talk) 01:24, 7 January 2010 (UTC)



Sources & Notes[edit]

Reviews[edit]

Awards[edit]

Themes[edit]

Influences[edit]

On "Egg"[edit]

Influenced by "Egg"[edit]

Biblio[edit]

External links modified[edit]

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