2008-09-28

Axiomatic and The Ends Of Our Tethers

After reading Luminous, I was pleased when Janos plonked Axiomatic on my desk. I wasn't disappointed. Perhaps Axiomatic is the superior collection? Written in 1995, it's way ahead of its time. The sort of things Egan writes about, free will, the neurological basis for decision making, parallel universes, brain and body modification and consciousness, are all things I find myself thinking about.

I'm still getting to grips with the idea of short stories. Each one of Egan's short stories has enough meat on it to be a novel. Now I've allowed short stories into my life, they seem to just keep on coming. Prowling through the shelves of Bath Central Library I came upon an Alasdair Gray collection of short stories called 'The Ends Of Our Tethers'. Zoe had given me Poor Things and that and his reputation made me give Ends a try.

On reading the first story, some may think Professor Gray a bit pervy. Well, I think Gray has a unique voice. His scottishness is continually present, and his left wingery is put forth unashamedly. Actually, I do have an issue with his socialism. Socialists come in two flavours, those who propound a complete world-view and those that just take pot shots at free-markets and capitalism. The complete world-view types are more honest, but reveal themselves and socialism to be bonkers. The pot shotters are saner, but don't really have a viable alternative. Gray is a pot-shotter.

Don't go away with the idea that I didn't like the book. On the contrary, it was quirky and well crafted.

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