Stories of Your Life and Others

This is a clever book with snazzy concepts and technical jargons, masqueraded under dull titles that sound more like high school English composition topics. Don’t let them fool you.storiesofyourlife
Few weeks before I got to read The Story of your life during a train journey, impressed me very much in its intellectual and literary aspects. Aliens, Fermat something, linguistics, Whorfianism, calculus of variations, all in a Mom’s monologue to her kid. The tipsy tenses and concepts impressed me quite as much to bag the complete book and dwell in this delightful sci-fi juxtaposition.

Below is me being brief, giving a peek into this cool book from my bland inane mind, hoping it be a little conviction to read any of the shorts. They did quite whet my appetite for more, one after the other.

Tower of Babylon is a philosophical story about the search for heaven and earth, surprisingly devoid of the biblical language tragedy, mixed with enough marvel, vertigo and claustrophobia.


Another one Understand got a Flowers of Algernon type Charlie going all Limitless and Lucy in a near future world. It’s a bit mind blowing, dishing out concepts that help one accept most of things sci -i, when it comes to extreme human intelligence and manipulative controls. You might even give Purple Man from Alias/Jessica Jones some slack.
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Division by Zero is the story of a mathematical genius where every reference felt like an archaic unknown enemy from old question papers – x. And most of my readings were intuition based than understanding here.

Seventy-two letters felt more like a journal review article, that every scholar got to torture oneself through, during literature survey. Except this one made sense in its own strange way in a well-crafted weird lexical universe. It’s a macabre story set in an alternative world with unconventional gestation, where movement of inanimate objects are controlled by words, superseded by our known thermodynamic principles. And do google “Shemhamphorasch”
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Then a really short, short on obviousness of something obvious –The evolution of human science

Hell is the absence of God is one bitter sweet theological take on various doctrines of God thoughts. Remember that portion in Bible where Jesus was asked the reason for a particular person’s blindness, his sins or his ancestor’s? This story trails around his answer, “this has happened so that the works of Lords might be displayed in him.” This short is deep and I couldn’t help but compare the angel visitations with the alien zones in Roadside Picnic, giving the premise a whole different perspective.

Liking what you see: a documentary, as the name suggests is a compilation of interviews and articles from people having various opinion about a neuro tech that eliminates the bias towards pretty looks. Sounded more like a Fair and Lovely product, if they were an IT company. Like most of the other stories around, it’s not the flow of circumstances that grips you in, but the concepts and school of thoughts we ignore always.

It’s funny how every story is interpersed with linguistic undertones except the one you most expect to, Tower of Babel. And I have a new fav sci-fi author now.

Rant : Chuck Palahnuik , One of the most challenging book I ve ever read

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I remember reading, Mr. Palahnuik sometime somewhere saying this ” Write something the readers might not enjoy, but will never forget”. That moron has done exactly the same in this messy, intricately written, complexly splintered, occasionally disgusting, disturbingly brilliant piece. And I hated most of it.

And If it wasnt a hardcopy, I would have left it before halfway. Took my time, controlled my anger on that Guardian reporter, whose cover review said – ‘Rant is fast and true.. and so funny your facial muscles soon tire’. As much as I was exasperated by this book, I must confess being completely blown away by the writing and imagination. The books moves along the life of one Buster Casey, popularly known as Rant, through the eyes of people around him. So, its like one of those documentary movies where we get to see interviews with various people on various aspects and time periods of some big shot person except the reader got no previous idea on who this big shot bloke is. To make matters worse, the protagonist, whom we know posthumously, is one disgusting fella with a gross level of super smell and rabies. Also he happens to be the most important person from that portion of the small town, coz of some urban demolition derby known as Party Crashing. And even after finishing it all, I still lack a solid idea of what Party Crashing really is.

So, take your time and self motivate yourself to sit till the end, coz it kinda pays off. I never saw it coming anyway. Or If you are struggling too much, here is a bit of spoiler motivation in the words of Shot Dunyun – “You burn your brain with rabies. Go all theta-tranc-y with driving. You hit something and wake up naked in History.”

And good luck understanding the story, also Stoking, Liminal time, Party Crashing, Rabies, I-SEE-U, Grandmother paradox, being and not being, becoming God and all those people who contributed to this grand screw up. They did sound like the writer himself most of the times, though. And If you are reading critically try to think back and understand the timeline, believe me, its the only fun I had in this reading exercise.

And why isnt Echo credited among the contributors? Anyway a big screen adaptation is on the way with James Franco

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Did I enjoy this book – single word answer might be NO,
But I do appreciate his genius and might as well do a re read to confirm my theories *imagine River Song playfully saying Spoilers*
And do listen to the Field Notes of Green Tayler Simms when you read.