Weeding Womb

Democritus' Violin

Democritus' Violin by G. David Nordley. A wonderful story which poses a simple question: If you made an atom-by-atom duplicate of a Stradivarius, would the duplicate be a Stradivarius too?

Woven around this simple question is a cast of interesting characters, inhabiting a university that has built a machine that can duplicate things. Coming down on the 'yes' side is the main character, with the name of Kim Young Kim. (Some of the characters have wonderful and humorous names.)

On the 'no' side is Kim's music professor, Dr. Stevens, who is the stereotypical professorial villain. Of course, when a professor disagrees with his student, the student often gets the short end of the stick.

Kim and Ted (Kim's 'sort-of boyfriend') set out to prove Stevens wrong. To help them is the nice-guy professor and official keeper of the replication machine Dr. Molar (all SCI majors may now laugh:). Another somewhat unwilling helper is Terri, who's Ted's other sort-of girlfriend. She's also Dr. Stevens' student and nightly good-time girl, but she's the only one close at hand who knows enough about a violin to properly restring one (the replicator doesn't do tensed strings well).

There's some great scenes in here where the characters interact, several laws are broken, and many large balloons (on both sides of the conflict) are deflated. Again, it's a wonderful story, with several nice and tense scenes involving an almost-obliterated Stradivarius. And we can't forget the good ending. Recommended.

The Archon

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