The Shadow Out of Time, when hard sci fi meets lovecraftian horror

shadow out of time.PNG“Lovecraft” meets “Time travel”. Woo, I love bringing people together.
At the start of this master class world building, word building, eldritch, mind bending novella, I was seeing a twisted Luthor, way too eager for a grand conflict. Having said that, this might be my favorite Lovecraft work so far, at least till my next one.

There is no best way to describe this book other than in author’s very own words
– a person of keen thoughtfulness seized a strange secondary life and leading for a greater and lesser period an utterly alien existance typified at first by vocal and bodily awkwardness, and later by a wholescale acquisition of scientific, historic, artistic and anthropologic knowledge; an acquisition carried on with feverish zest and with a wholly abnormal absorptive power. Then a sudden return of rightful consciousness, intermittently plagued ever after with vague unplacable dreams suggesting fragments of some hideous memory elaborately blotted out.

Now, back to my puny writing. So this guy, Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee is a professor with a very usual normal calm life, married with kids. The strange secondary febrile life episode happens amidst a lecture, and it renders him unusual to the ways of men, with detritus amnesia. Here is the clever part, he gains back his self in due time and resumes a very normal life. And betwixt that, our smart protagonist research thoroughly on his strange visions n memories of a higher, vivid alien civilization with the help of his son. He even publish papers on the same and all during his letter he urges us readers not to take anything as absolute, but to judge on his mind conditions and our logic coz of dearth logic. I believe, I have hooked you up enough to read the book on your own now. Plus this character is somewhat autobiographic, since the timeline of professors amnesia goes along with the breakdown H P Lovecraft had during his teenage years. And dnt be disappointed If you dont get the chance to chant ‘“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn‘. For the Yithians are far more rewarding.

For once you get the taste of hard sci fi off Lovecraft’s pen than usual chilling accords that looks so like some vertiginous furtive past. This one is more like a weird TARDIS ride to an era of Yithians, consider them as weird conical Oods, and now you are wiped off that memory n remnants are hunting your consciousness, leaving you strangled between hallucinations and reality. Book goes a tad, At the Mountain of Madness, and am pretty sure Alien Covenant is going to borrow bits and pieces off this novella. Hope it wont go all Prometheus.

Its really difficult to give a honest review without discussing the plot and in doing so I would be ruining the whole experience. Usual short stories and novellas are about the incessant fear of unknown, here in addition a thoughts of cosmic sojourn is addressed. And in doing so none of the elements are compensated, but the scale and ideas are higher, he even mentions Einstien at some point saying the reduction of time into a coordinate. Also dont expect anything conventional when it comes to Time travel, its more an Animus experience. I would pay to watch Yithians fight Elder things aboard humankind preceding Beetles. And like usual, those vivid vistas left me wondering, what if Lovecraft was a medium and those cosmic entities did exist. And we need to start a kickstart campaign to find Necronomicon by that mad Arab.

Btw, here is something to feast on. Cant beat the read though.

L’Étranger , The Stranger

7755782156_f60e025ccf_o.jpegI picked this book up without knowing any philosophical significance, and had an immense time to think between chapters and savor the simple depiction of life thorough the eyes of a highly apathetic fellow. Which made me think, this might how Charlie of Flowers of Algernon would have been, If he was more normal.

Author kind of made us alienate the protagonist in first part only to make more sense of him by second. The last episode was golden where he blast outs on chaplain, planting this explosive thought of each being as guilty as other and how everything matters for nothing by the end. And how prejudiced and frightful the judge and jury were at the nonchalance of main character. Makes us wonder how far the hierarchy of power would have mattered, if there were more people like that hero,who name is hard to pronounce. “Are you prosecuting a man who buried his mother or a man who killed someone”

There are a lot of lines which I have saved in my head, and I am pretty sure am gonna read more of Camus, and probably absurdism. We do over rate our existence in cosmos a hell lot, loose what we have in search of something in afterlife.

Wonder how guys like Charlie and this manage to have girlfriends, esp ones like Marie who say I love you coz you are queer, though it might make me hate you someday. And here I am living my single life, embracing existentialism đŸ˜›

Well, knowing a bit about Camus adds to the experience. Moreover gives a perspective that isnt the usual depressing one we pick up on first look.

Invisible Cities, most sophisticated book without a plot

The point of this book is absolutely nothing, and that is its beauty as well. Calvino might have easily escaped a lot of essays in his highschool, am sure. Bending-Bookshelf-Invisible-Cities-Italo-Calvino-1972.jpg

Marco Polo who seems high af while visiting Kublai Khan, goes sycophant explaining all those imaginary cities he believes to have visited. All of them are exquisitely beautiful, eloquently expressed, named after madchens and never undergone any vicissitudes of life as such. There were many sumptuous cities with beautiful amorous girls throwing themselves at the travelers, and ones where inhabitants circled their home, work, wife when things got boring.

After listening to quite a few of his Utopian cities, the rather lethargic Mr. Khan, presumably high on the same stuff as Mr.Polo, goes on expressing Cities off his head, asking Mr.Polos confirmation on the existence of his imagination. Mr. Polo having already wared plenty of his punctilious imagination, at last succumbs to the existence of Mr. Khans creation, embellishing with details of his visit. At some point when he is asked of Venice, he says every city he explained is Venice, the beauty of which perplexes him. Also Calvino seems lost in his imagination, leaving some timeline anomalies which are least bothered to be expunged.

Mr. Polo goes all philosophical, maybe at the pinnacle of stuff moment, says everything he explained might be this town called Irene, which is different every time visited. Though this book feels like Ship of Theseus in its path to 55 cities, you find it hard to put down. This is like Prophet or Little Prince for knack-packers, and no matter how much you make fun of the whole thing, you are left gobsmacked by its invigorous grandeur.

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Sleeping Giants

Ok, thought I would save some read for tomorrow, I just couldn’t. So here I am with a finished book, happy headache and a smug face. This is the kind of book, you need to overcome Reader’s block and I am writing this listening to Gypsy Danger theme. đŸ™‚

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I can understand the PR strategy behind branding this under the likes of The Martian and WorldWar Z, but to be honest this is more like Deception Point with Jaegers from Pacific Rim. Many might condemn the epistolary writing under grounds of poor character development and world building, but author was cleverly desensitizing us from getting too much intimate. And kept a more scientific, unbiased and exciting on the edge snazzy accord throughout, now i see where The Martian reference comes from. This seemingly hard sci fi took a political thriller turn at times, not to mention the mushy feelings play in between. Yet managed to keep me on the excitement till the end ,even with a quite satisfactory climax and after credits. And it also went, a tad Armada ish with all that tittah and dhehmeys thingy. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I had solid fun and would eagerly wait for the Teselecta to re appear in future Themis files.

This is like Rant in sci fi genre where our Buster Casey is a spoiler. Pretty sure author might be scratching his temple off thinking ways not to muck the premise in further installments.

soundtrack for your read : put Pacific Rim OST on loop

I heard great things about the audiobook as well, might wanna give it a go on Audible. In meantime check the amazon link here for epub

And taking things a bit more to the creepy side, here is the author twitter handle

 

The Stars My Destination

A Gulli ble guy’s somewhat foil ed attempts at revenge đŸ™‚
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Remember that movie Jumper, the one with a teleporting young Skywalker, the one which never got any further installments. Well now imagine a future where anyone can do that with proper training, th
ough there are clauses. This future universe includes lotsa speculative fiction along with telepaths and a beautiful blind girl who can see Infrared of spectrum.

Having said that, this novel tells the story of an Arthur Dent type character going all Monte Cristo amidst an ongoing war after he was cast away in space. It was so much fun, esp since I have been expecting some PKD level stuff over that philosophical title. It was hilarious at many parts and none felt intentional. ” I am Gully Foyle, there isnt anything I wouldnt dare.” The frustration of a man to have revenge on beings that cannot feel anything, “and he went through the door like a diesel tractor.”

And never failed to amaze me with novelty, I am pretty convinced that Warrior Within borrowed heavily from this book endings. And that monologue was enough to cover up for all the weirdness, Foyle opened my geodesic mind with his Pig speech.

“The whole point of extravagance is to act like a fool and feel like a fool, but enjoy it.” This book was my weekend extravaganza. And I think you might wanna go with a hard copy on this one. here is some motivation.

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