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The Trojan Carousel
 
 

The Trojan Carousel [Kindle Edition]

Carl Frederick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The Nobel Prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman, said that he didn't know if there was really a problem with quantum mechanics but if there was, it was a big one. He also suggested that if children were taught quantum concepts early, they might not have any problems at all with the theory.
The Trojan Carousel is the story of two schools: The Feynman Elementary School of Advanced Physics, and the affiliated Amdexter School, a traditional, middle-grade, boys boarding school. It is also the story of Kip, a student at Feynman, Alex at Amdexter, and how their friendship first grows and then fractures under the clash of the 'two cultures'.
Relations between the two schools start well but gradually fall apart. And the carousel, intended as a symbol of friendship, becomes the focal point of a vicious nighttime war.
This novel is hard to characterize. It has a lot of science (much of which has been relegated to the 'back of the book' and can be safely ignored), but it isn't exactly science fiction. It's written for both middle-school kids and also theoretical physicists (such as myself). One might compare it to 'Harry Potter' with physics replacing magic. But it perhaps has more in common with 'Lord of the Flies'. I hope the reader will find The Trojan Carousel both an engaging story and also an interesting exploration of the wonderful weirdness of quantum theory.

With my anthology 'SF++ Science Fiction Stories for Linux Geeks', I wanted to keep with the Linux philosophy of free software. I decided therefore, to sell the book here for $4 and simultaneously provide it for free on my website www.frithrik.com. That worked out well, so I'm doing that also with 'The Trojan Carousel'. I should be very happy were you to buy it, but you can get it for free by requesting it on my website.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 627 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: E-Robot Science Fiction; 2.0 edition (6 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PYDEGO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,031,463 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Trojan Carousel is a title with many overtones that is totally appropriate for a story which also works on many levels. At one level the title conjures up an image of a whole parade of Trojan horses, each packed with G(r)eeks ready to storm the citadel of artistic ignorance and proclaim the true uncertainly of reality. At another level it creates an image of an insidious tract of seemly helpful software which is just waiting for the chance of empty your bank accounts, sell your wife and children into slavery and wipe out all the data on your hard drive.

The book tells the story of an well-intentioned attempt to create the perfect school for teaching quantum physics to young minds. This was suggested by scientific maverick, skilled lock-picker and Nobel prize winner, Richard Feynman. Carl Frederick knows his physics, he understands Feynman and he wears his science lightly as he tells the tale of Kip and his friends Wolfgang and Paul. (A nice hidden tribute to Wolfgang Emst Pauli, the discoverer of the exclusion principle, which Kip, Wolfgang and Paul experience when they try to make friends with boys of the traditional Amdexter Boarding School)

Like the very best science fiction the story succeeds on many strata, and the technique of hiding the physics in appendices which can be bypassed if you want to follow the action, works well. At the simplest level it is tale of two groups of differently motivated boys being forced by circumstance to interact and live alongside each other. At another level it is a story of how the hero Kip learns to reconcile the strange ideas of quantum physics with the reality of life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction for physicists (or maybe their children) 16 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I seem to be making a habit of starting and finishing a book on the same long flight - this is another of those books, which proves it's a fairly quick read (since I also had time to eat, sleep, watch a film, etc.).

I love the concept of this book, and it's laid out in a style I haven't seen before, with extra sub-chapters which take the physics out of the main thrust of the novel. This works pretty well, but I'll be sorry if it means some readers miss out the more interesting paradoxes, since this seems to be a YA book with educational leanings.

I would have liked to see more physics, actually - for a large chunk of the book, the focus shifts to the rivalry between the schools, and it's not clear that the source of this rivalry is really anything to do with the ESAP teaching style and mindset. The extra physics sub-chapters dry up after chapter 16 (of 40) and it all gets a bit Lord Of The Flies for a while.

That said, it's nicely written, and the relationships between the students (as individuals and in groups) makes for compelling reading. And it does come back to conceptualising physics, at the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 16 April 2011
By mahton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The Trojan Carousel is a cleverly crafted blend of science, science fiction, and the innocent irreverence of adolescent boys. Although it contains some darker parts, it will leave you feeling hopeful. The science side of the book jumps into real physics, with short, very intelligible "primers" on advanced topics in quantum mechanics and relativity. Although the physics is very well integrated into the story, it is still possible for a nontechnical reader to enjoy. Frederick's exploration of friendship and rivalry feels natural and compelling, and leaves the reader wondering if the work is entirely fictional. Even including a map of the school, Frederick goes to amazing lengths to bring his boy's school to life.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Multi-layered Parable of the Conflict between Art and Science 8 May 2012
By Robert Lomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The Trojan Carousel is a title with many overtones that is totally appropriate for a story which also works on many levels. At one level the title conjures up an image of a whole parade of Trojan horses, each packed with G(r)eeks ready to storm the citadel of artistic ignorance and proclaim the true uncertainly of reality. At another level it creates an image of an insidious tract of seemly helpful software which is just waiting for the chance of empty your bank accounts, sell your wife and children into slavery and wipe out all the data on your hard drive.

The book tells the story of an well-intentioned attempt to create the perfect school for teaching quantum physics to young minds. This was suggested by scientific maverick, skilled lock-picker and Nobel prize winner, Richard Feynman. Carl Frederick knows his physics, he understands Feynman and he wears his science lightly as he tells the tale of Kip and his friends Wolfgang and Paul. (A nice hidden tribute to Wolfgang Emst Pauli, the discoverer of the exclusion principle, which Kip, Wolfgang and Paul experience when they try to make friends with boys of the traditional Amdexter Boarding School)

Like the very best science fiction the story succeeds on many strata, and the technique of hiding the physics in appendices which can be bypassed if you want to follow the action, works well. At the simplest level it is tale of two groups of differently motivated boys being forced by circumstance to interact and live alongside each other. At another level it is a story of how the hero Kip learns to reconcile the strange ideas of quantum physics with the reality of life. It is also a parable about different approaches to education, the styles of different teachers and how the experience affects the children being taught in ways the teachers' don't always realise.

Above all it is a good story. If you are a physicist you can chuckle at the in-jokes and if you don't know any physics you can read the appendices and see how truth is much stranger than any fiction but anyone can enjoy the pace of the story and feel the tension between the school bully and the suffering underdog whilst wondering how it will end. And I won't spoil that ending for you so you can enjoy it for yourself.
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