To understand everything important there is to know about the universe, apply that knowledge to become omnipotent, and use that power to rewrite reality because I have some objections to the way it works now.
villain hero Who knows? of story
Oh no, I already hear. Is this another cupcake? Some medicore horror or tale made on LSD? One of milion other less or more crappy fanfics of one of most popular series of books?
Meet dramatic and hilarious story with hint of romance and horror, where Science meets head to head with Magic. Laws of physics happens to be optional guidelines, causing terror, chargin, amazement and evil laugh – all at once – in main hero. Because even if magic actually exists, Scientific Method still works.
By nature of this fanfic, you can dive straight in. Read it, even if you don’t know much about original Harry Potter (like me). In fact, especially if you don’t.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
All God’s children got hemoglobin.
– “The Forever War”, Joe Haldeman
Technology implies belligerence.
One of the most popular tropes of science fiction. We had everything: benevolent aliens (either powerful or being at human mercy), malevolent enemies attacking Earth, for some strange reason always losing horribly, rarely indifferent ones. And my favourite kind: aliens that are, well, alien. In all meanings of this word, both physically and mentally. Stories featuring them are hardest to write, but also most interesting.
Blindsight (Peter Watts) is one of them and I dare to say it is one of the best, even if science already marched on. We are not sure what is deal all the way to very end of story. Even human crew can cause you perplexions – are they really humans? Genetically modded, mentally augumented, minds warped in unexpected directions, with vampire at steer, whatever they represent, they are humanity ambassadors. Main protagonist himself is ironical – emotionless half-brain (literally) that never fail to see all in other people – intermediate between us and half-AIs or overgrown brains-in-vats.
In story there are many themes and more or less dubious scientific claims, that nevertheless are thought-provoking. Is this alien ship (that does not look like any classic SF ship, by the way) and its crew really ship with real crew? Are you really only rubber-stamping bureaucrat in frontal lobe? Are current (beginning of 21st century) psychologists and psychiatrists was – are – little more than modern shamans prescibing mind equivalent of bloodleting? How to contact and understand aliens that see danger, take offense, readies to fight hearing phrase “I come in peace” already at first word?
There exists world, where copulating pair can change into alligator. Where trees uproot themselves and migrate. Where dead people are packed into glass coffins that are used as garden walls.
Welcome to madness of Codex Seraphinianus (Luigi Serafini), alternate reality with its own laws.
Whole book is divided into chapters describing various topics and things, every next one more outrageous than previous. Text is written in unknown language, but fortunately Codex is heavy on pictures. While many of them are relatively “normal” (if strange looking), other are… likeable. From simple ideas, like plant that water itself, through things like eye-fishes or entire family of two-legged… something, ending up in rainbow flying car. Aw yeah, I always wanted to drive something like this.
Finally we are going in full blown disregard of any physical laws or sanity – how else you can describe behaviour of Codex’s alien writing system? Talk about meta-abstraction.
Speaking of natural laws, fourth chapter apparently describes rules of this universe, in consequence becoming most abstract and enigmatic. Strange pictures, curious machines (experiments?) and unreadable descriptions of things that make no sense at all. Now I want book in same style about atoms and quarks. No one will notice any difference.
A few things in particular catch attention. For example, some games in tenth chapter looks like fun (if impossible to reentact in our reality). Clothing section should give ideas outshining even most extragvant convent cosplays (provided you will not kill yourself during wearing those). You can also try at home ingenious solution for annoying table breadcrumbs or wonder about deer head in flower pot.
This was nice journey in wonderland, only without Alice. Try it for yourself.
If you want a picture of the future,
imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
1984 – Gegorge Orwell