Friday, November 26, 2010

Understand - Ted Chiang

Novelette

Number of words : 13500
Percent of complex words : 15.9
Average syllables per word : 1.7
Average words per sentence : 14.3


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 12.1
Flesch : 51.1
Flesch-Kincaid : 9.7


PEOPLE

Leon Greco

A man who has a brain injury and undergoes treatment to repair it, which enhances his intelligence.

Reynolds

Another patient from Phoenix who has undergone hormone K treatment.

Dr. Hooper

The man who treats Leon.

Jerry

A friend of Leon's.

Sue and Tori

Other friends.

Dr Shea

The Neurologist-in-Chief where Leon is treated..

Clausen

A visiting doctor. Likely a spook.

Connie Perritt

Leon's old girlfriend.

Leibniz

A mathematician.

John Lill

A drug experimenter in the sixties.

Godel

Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher.


TECHNOLOGY

Hormone K

Treats brain injuries.

PET

Positron emission tomography. A nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image. Brain scan.


ORGANISATIONS

Greco Holographics

Leon's business.

Sorensen Pharmaceutical

a company researching synthetic hormones that encourage neuron regeneration in the central nervous system. Came up with hormone K.

FDA

American Food and Drug Authority.

CIA

Central Intelligence Agency. USA external spy group.

DMV

Department of Motor Vehicles in the USA.

Lucas Security Systems

The company that sells handprint locks to Pennsylvania Courier.


PLACES

Hanning Playhouse

A theatre.

Boston

A USA city.

Pittsburgh

A USA city.

Memphis

A USA city.

Philadelphia

A USA city.


MEDIA

Symplectic

A monologue in verse.

Metal Eyes

A movie.


CONCEPTS

APB

All Points Bulletin. US police alert system.

Confucian

A philosophy.



PLOT

Leon Greco has an accident, with a brain injury as a result. A new treatment has a side effect. It increases his intelligence exponentially. So much so that he becomes of interest to the CIA, who would like him to work for them.

Their problem is he is too smart for them, and way too smart to want to do so, despite them trying to use an old girlfriend as leverage.

There is another such patient, however, and Reynolds leaves him a message. He is certainly not too smart for him. Their evolving mental abilities lead to total body control and some enhanced abilities and control of others.

The two men come into conflict.


4.5 out of 5

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/under.htm

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