I definitely have to stick with Josh on this one...I really didn't get the book (Schild's Ladder), and didn't enjoy it enough to put the effort into digging deeper into it. There really seemed to be no real story or plot line, or maybe there was, but Egan used so much scientific jargon that it was buried in a mess of robotic sounding mumbo-jumbo. In most of the other selections in class, the authors made it possible for a layman, like me, to skip over some of the more scientific terms and still have a feel for what was happening; Egan did not.
Also, the other books in this class, in one way or another, have all drawn out some kind of emotional response, or made me feel sympathy or compassion for the characters. In attempting to fathom how the themes depicted in the books might play out in our world today, I began to actually get quite involved in some of them. Being someone that really deliberately tries to stay away from science fiction, this was really saying a lot for me. I did not have any sense of this after reading Schild's Ladder, however, and it was kind of a let down to finish the class with a sour taste in my mouth. The characters seemed cold, disconnected, even emotionless at times. While I realize that this is a science fiction novel about future computer technologies and quantum physics, etc, etc, I was still hoping for some sense that these charaters had some humanity buried in them. That must have been lost under the heaping pile of mumbo-jumbo as well.
In conclusion, I wish the "Mimosa Station" had referred to some sort sort of Sci-Fi bar or club, because that's what I really needed when I finished this book...a drink!