Hot Best Seller

Zeitgeber

Availability: Ready to download

For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we've followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out. At the Publisher's request, this title is For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we've followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Compare

For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we've followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out. At the Publisher's request, this title is For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we've followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for Zeitgeber

  1. 5 out of 5

    M

    This review first published on Oh Just SFF. A beautifully written short that seems disturbing and unnatural on the surface of it, but you slowly start to realize that it isn't entirely unlikely for something like circadian rhythm changes to affect the structure of society as a whole. Focusing on the microcosm of Sam's family with the backdrop of society as whole, we get a glimpse into how it changes the life of each person. This story touches on the effect on a human level, and not just on a This review first published on Oh Just SFF. A beautifully written short that seems disturbing and unnatural on the surface of it, but you slowly start to realize that it isn't entirely unlikely for something like circadian rhythm changes to affect the structure of society as a whole. Focusing on the microcosm of Sam's family with the backdrop of society as whole, we get a glimpse into how it changes the life of each person. This story touches on the effect on a human level, and not just on a widespread global level. Indeed, the interspersed narrative of Sam with his family, and the larger society and the school he teaches at, shows how individuals are dealing with it. Individuals like his daughter, Emma, who is now functioning on a different internal clock. As these things go, she is eventually forced to have medication, which keeps her up at "normal" times, but she's dull, feel heavy, and doesn't really feel like herself. Read the rest of the review here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Spoer

    I hate/love short fiction. Mostly because when I really get into it, all of a sudden it stops. ends. AND I HAVE QUESTIONS. WHY CAN'T MY QUESTIONS BE ANSWERED???? but tbh, i found the ending to be to "eh"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Meh. Didn’t do anything for me. 2 stars because the familial relationships in this were well written.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Standeven

    Six-year-old Emma is not sleeping when she should. Her whole body-clock is way out of kilter, and nothing her parents can do will alter it. My initial impression was – spoilt brat! Her parents become increasingly worried, but hoping that “All they had to do was gently pull her back in synch with the rest of the world” Soon they discover, it is not just Emma, but hundreds of thousands of people – of all ages and all backgrounds, world-wide – are suffering from the same disorder. There is no Six-year-old Emma is not sleeping when she should. Her whole body-clock is way out of kilter, and nothing her parents can do will alter it. My initial impression was – spoilt brat! Her parents become increasingly worried, but hoping that “All they had to do was gently pull her back in synch with the rest of the world” Soon they discover, it is not just Emma, but hundreds of thousands of people – of all ages and all backgrounds, world-wide – are suffering from the same disorder. There is no identifiable cause, and no way of stopping it. The ‘free-runners’, as they become known, have their own body-clocks, and cannot readjust to normality. As Emma’s father, Sam, explains: “The whole problem for free-runners is that none of those cues affect them! It’s no different from being blind to sunlight – except you’re also blind to temperature, food, exercise, social interaction, and every jet-lag pill ever invented.” Society adjusts temporarily to the free-runners, but then a group called ‘The Time Thieves’ claims responsibility for the plague – and demands one trillion dollars for the cure. A ‘cure’ is eventually designed – but will it really help? Emma (now nine-years-old) is unconvinced: “I already have the sun inside me. The one you see up in the sky doesn’t count” This story is quite far-fetched, but it does bring up the question of how far you should push people to confirm to normal conventions? Is it always really in their interests? Or yours?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    An interesting tale by Greg Egan. Unlike the usual 'Hard SF' stories he has written in the past, this one has little that is actual Hard SF, apart from the biology that forms the premise of the story. Instead, the story concentrates on the actions and emotions of the characters as their inner clocks get out of sync with that of the sun and with each other. The story starts off with their daughter unexpectedly waking up alert in the middle of the night. Then other people around the world also An interesting tale by Greg Egan. Unlike the usual 'Hard SF' stories he has written in the past, this one has little that is actual Hard SF, apart from the biology that forms the premise of the story. Instead, the story concentrates on the actions and emotions of the characters as their inner clocks get out of sync with that of the sun and with each other. The story starts off with their daughter unexpectedly waking up alert in the middle of the night. Then other people around the world also start having active hours out of sync with those of other 'normal' people (the daylight hours). As the world is forced to adjust to the new situation, with occasional disasters caused by people failing to be alert during the 'usual' hours, it becomes clear that something biological has happened. The family struggles to adjust but then their new routine is thrown into more turmoil as a 'cure' is touted to restore the waking hours of those affected back in sync with the sun. By then, their daughter (and some of her friends) have grown used to their new active hours and resist being forced to return to their old routine hours. But in the midst of the family conflict over the cure, they will bond together to decide what to do with the cure and how important their daughter is to them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ninja

    A great short story centred on a family - two parents and a daughter - when people across the world snap out of sync with the day. Intriguing concept wonderfully progressed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews

    How do you stop a disease that has no known cure? The premise of this tale grabbed my attention immediately. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly have one’s circadian rhythm change without warning and with no explanation of why it was happening. It was a problem that was ordinary enough for me to imagine myself in these character’s shoes while also mysterious enough to create some memorable plot twists. This is one of my favorite types of science fiction, and I couldn’t wait to How do you stop a disease that has no known cure? The premise of this tale grabbed my attention immediately. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly have one’s circadian rhythm change without warning and with no explanation of why it was happening. It was a problem that was ordinary enough for me to imagine myself in these character’s shoes while also mysterious enough to create some memorable plot twists. This is one of my favorite types of science fiction, and I couldn’t wait to find out what was causing these issues. There were a few plot holes that I wish had been better explained. They had to do with how humanity reacted to the sleep cycles of some people changing so rapidly and permanently. Since this story unfolded over multiple years, I would have expected people to adjust to these changes better than they appeared to. It would have been helpful to have some more clues about why this didn’t happen for them. With that being said, the ending was well done. It was subtly hinted at earlier on in the storyline, so seeing it play out the way I thought it might made me smile. I also appreciated the fact that the author gave his audience so much freedom in coming up with our own theories about what caused this illness and what might happen to the characters in the future. There was room for a sequel, but I was also pretty satisfied with what had already been shared with the readers. If you’ve ever had trouble with your sleep cycle, Zeitgeber might be right up your alley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    What would happen if circadian rhythms started to not sync up? What caused it, how long would it take to diagnose, what problems would result, and what would be some of the solutions? This short fiction touches on all of these in a thought-provoking way. Although it could have used some clarity with the time jumps that sometimes happened between chapters without notice, the writing was good and the concept & follow through were singular. Content: No sex/nudity or violence, a couple instances What would happen if circadian rhythms started to not sync up? What caused it, how long would it take to diagnose, what problems would result, and what would be some of the solutions? This short fiction touches on all of these in a thought-provoking way. Although it could have used some clarity with the time jumps that sometimes happened between chapters without notice, the writing was good and the concept & follow through were singular. Content: No sex/nudity or violence, a couple instances of language.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alian

    Didn't fully work for me in some sections (e.g. a character being able to identify her own internal clock, separate from an external one, to within 10-minute precision - I know that some people do have a very acute sense of time, but, personally, while I can estimate elapsed time during an activity, my general time sense is in half-hour-to-hour increments - and only to external time, despite having a fairly messy and shifted sleep cycle) but the story did keep me interested overall.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Another superb short story by one of my favourite SF authors. If he has a fault, it is that his stories often contain such technical complexities that I have trouble following what he is trying to say (my problem not his). Not an issue, however, with this story which is well written and fascinating albeit it seemed to finish early with a lot more story line to come..

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chang

    Great sci-fi short story centered on an intriguing "What if?": what if people started having their circadian rhythms detached from the natural day/night cycle? This story follows one family as society adapts to this new circumstance. It ends more abruptly than I'd have preferred, but it's a good story and we'll worth your time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    Interesting seeing the daughter's reaction to the pills. Like the concept of the slipping time frame -- the natural circadian rhythm being more than 24 hours so your natural wake time moves daily. Cool on the logistics of setting up schools and things for the free running kids. And interesting to see the potential implications of trying to force people to be awake at the wrong times.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gendou

    This is the first thing from Greg Egan that's ever disappointed me. The premise isn't very clever. The story doesn't go anywhere. I was expecting a lot more. Maybe that was my problem. There was an arc but I was expecting a twist ending.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    https://www.tor.com/2019/09/25/zeitge...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hugh

    great short novel which you will read in on shot before (maybe) going to bed.. but it kind of fall short in the end.. maybe couple of more page to wrap / twist it up would have make it great!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    3.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    A significant portion of the population suddenly finds their sleep schedules jumped 12-hours out of synch. An interesting premise but the story didn't really feel like it went anywhere.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was amazing and horrifying all at once. And it made me miss having a kid.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janet Martin

    Interesting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I like this. It would be an interesting world. I wonder if something like this could happen and if it would be like permanent jet lag?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This novelette is on my list of the Best Short SFF of October 2019: https://1000yearplan.com/2019/11/01/t...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stas

    4 stars This was an interesting concept. Not as unlikely as it may seem. Well written, with believable and realistic reactions.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tanim

    Pretty good Egan short story This is another interesting Greg Egan story. It's middle of the pack as far as Egan stories go, using a common theme of his fiction: that some external agent fundamentally changes society and creates new cultures that wish to preserve themselves.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ElleM

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marticus

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tarah Tipton-black

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 5 out of 5

    YoshieMaster

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  30. 4 out of 5

    S

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.