Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - Ted Chiang

Novelette

Number of words : 10600
Percent of complex words : 7.6
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 18.4


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 10.4
Flesch : 67.8
Flesch-Kincaid : 8.4


PEOPLE

Caliph

A monarch.

Fuwaad ibn Abbas

A storyteller.

Basharaat

A shopkeeper and Gate keeper.

Hassan

A rope maker.

Ajib ibn Taher

A rug weaver.

Taahira

Ajib's wife.

Raniya

Hasim's wife.

Najya

Fuwaad's wife.

Maimuna

A physician's assistant.


PLACES

Baghdad

Capital of Iraq.

Damascus

Capital of Syria.

Cairo

Capital of Egypt.

Street of Black Dogs

Where you should only walk along the North side.

Habbaniya

Part of Cairo.

Basra

A city in Iraq.

Kufa

A city in Iraq.

TECHNOLOGY

Astrolabe

An historical astronomical instrument.

Quicksilver

The metal mercury.

Gate of Seconds

Hoop device separating a small span of time.

Gate of Years

Hoop device separating a large span of time.

Cordovan

Horse leather.

Khurasani turban

A upper class round turban.


CONCEPTS

Alchemy

The idea that you can transmute one substance into another via illogical means.

Djinni

Arab mythological sentient creatures.


MEDIA

The Tale of the Fortunate Rope-Maker

A Gate story.

The Tale of the Weaver Who Stole from Himself

A Gate story.

The Tale of the Wife and Her Lover

A Gate story.


FOOD

Pistachios

A type of nut.

Pomegranates

A type of fruit.


ANIMALS

Camels

Used as transport in desert caravans.


PLOT

A bloke in trouble recounts several stories to a Caliph, surrounding a man who has a gate that you can travel in time through - and meet future or past selves.

Therefore some of the stories loop around

The Tale of the Fortunate Rope-Maker.

Hassan finds his older self wealthy.


The Tale of the Weaver Who Stole From Himself

Ajib finds his future self seems poor, but has a stash of gold. Money gets his wife kidnapped, and he ends up having to provide this lot anyway.

The Tale of the Wife & Her Lover

Some time meddling here by Hassan's wife Raniya, with Hassan's own younger self.


4 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment