Novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. The Light of Other Days deals mainly with the sweeping social changes brought by making the ultimate surveilance equipment (the Wormcam) available to anyone and everyone, and also with the changes to the lives of its characters, mainly those involved with the owner of OurWorld, makers of the wormcam, Hiram Patterson.

Features such nifty technology as wormcams and their datapipe ancestors, softscreens, and the Search Engine, which is accessible at any time, in almost any place, and routes information straight to your brain.
"The Light of Other Days" is a classic science fiction short story by Bob Shaw.

It is about slow glass, glass which takes light an extended period of time to go through. After its maufacture, it is typically placed in scenic locations, affording people with spectacular views. The thing that makes the story a classic is that slow glass works both ways. A character spends his days outside his house, looking in at the images of his dead wife, who lives on, for a few more months, in the depths of the slow glass.

The title of the Baxter/Clarke novel is a deliberate homage to this story.

Name of book: The Light of Other Days
Authors: Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter
Published: March 2000

A novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter of the Science Fiction genre. Using something called a Caisimir Engine, a corporation by the name of OurWorld creates a device (dubbed the WormCam) capable of "creating" a very small wormhole. Actually, it doesn't create the wormhole, per se. The book states that there is an infinite and constantly changing multitude of wormholes in the quantum foam inside atoms. The Caisimir Engine seeks out the proper wormhole and holds it open by injecting antigravity.

The implications of this are earthshattering, since due to this, you can transmit data at faster than the speed of light by bypassing space. At first, the wormholes are small enough to transmit data through. Later on, they are enlarged enough to send visible light wavelengths through. It is soon discovered, however, that the wormholes, just as they can look into space, they can look back into time. But the irony of this is that people can only look, and not change, since if anything is sent through the wormhole back in time, a feedback loop develops, destroying the wormhole before the content even gets to its destination.

Now that you understand what the basis of the book is, imagine if this technology is made to be small. Really small. Like, small enough to be implanted in your brain, or to be held on your wrist. It is eventually released to the public, and the human race becomes a race of voyeurs, peeping toms, and then, history addicts. In the end, it all calms down, and you're left to see what the real implications of the WormCam are.

The authors take you through the petty infancy of the technology, and a good portion of the book is "news reports" or "TrueBios" of historical events and people.

This device changes humanity.

To add to this, there is an asteroid bigger than the one that made the dinosaurs extinct headed for Earth, due to hit in five hundred years.

This is one of the books that you need to read more than once, because the real scope of the cultural changes, the predictions, is huge. It is also laden with oodles of themes, quotes, and other goodies that only help to express the feelings of the book.

For example, one of the characters, a devout Catholic, embarks on something called the 12,000 days project, a research project to use the past-viewing WormCam to trace and research the true life of Jesus Christ, or Yesho Ben Pantera, to his contemporaries, as the project disclosed. Is that irony enough for you?

Imagine, for a moment, that you could see anyone, anywhere, any time in the past, in the comfort of your own home. What would you do with this gift? And keep in mind, this isn't just you that can see. It is everyone around you.

Wouldn't it be k-rad to have an instantaneous connection to e2? None of that laggy speed-of-light stuff. It's too slow for you, isn't it?

As eponymous stated in his previous writeup, this book shares a title with a short story by Bob Shaw. In fact, in the beginning of the book, it says: "To Bob Shaw". A good idea would be to read Shaw's book, as it will probably foster a better understanding of this one.

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