Alchemy VS Chemistry

He tapped the papers; the advice had been coming down since early winter. He remembered when Amdijefri had brought in the first pages, pages of numerical tables, of directions and diagrams, all drawn in neat but childish style. Steel and the Fragment had spent days trying to understand. Some of the references were obvious. The Visitor’s recipes required silver and gold in quantities that would otherwise finance a war. But what was this “liquid silver”? Tyrathect had recognized it; the Master had used such a thing in his labs in the Republic. Eventually they acquired the amount specified. But many of the ingredients were given only as methods for creating them. Steel remembered the Fragment musing over those, scheming against nature as if it were just another foe. The recipes of mystics were full of “horn of squid” and “frozen moonlight.” The directions from Ravna were sometimes even stranger. There were directions within directions, long detours spent in testing common materials to decide which really fit the greater plan. Building, testing, building. It was like the Master’s own method but without the dead ends.

Some of it made sense early on. They would have the explosives and guns that Woodcarver thought were her secret weapons. But so much was still unintelligible—and it never got easier.


An alien from a mideval society receiving instructions to build advanced technology from aliens finds their directions full of digressions and careful methodologies to verify chemical compositions, where his alchemists' instructions are much more simple and poetic.

Folksonomies: technology alchemy chemistry magic

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Alchemy VS Chemistry An:PrintMedia (0.890469 (positive:0.732065)), Steel:Person (0.811119 (negative:-0.242464)), Woodcarver:Person (0.593673 (negative:-0.287911)), Ravna:City (0.571302 (neutral:0.000000)), Amdijefri:Person (0.554207 (neutral:0.000000)), Tyrathect:Person (0.534382 (neutral:0.000000))

Chemistry (0.939660): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Alchemy (0.891876): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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Geber (0.655065): dbpedia | yago
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 Fire Upon the Deep
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Vinge , Vernor (2011-08-01), Fire Upon the Deep, Tor Books, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: fiction science fictino