These Coincidences Have No Meaning

September 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

Now reading: Fragile Things.

Reading next: Redburn, by Herman Melville.

I mean that, that title-sentence up there: I really don’t think there’s much to this.  But it’s weird.  I like weird things.  If nothing else, it’s another manifestation of that odd phenomenon by which great discoveries, strokes of genius, etc., are made independently and nearly simultaneously.

Three stories, in succession:

-“Diseasemaker’s Croup,” a clever made-to-order piece (they’re almost all made-to-order in this collection, which is why it comes off as kind of half-assedly thrown-together, I suppose) about a disease which “can be diagnosed by the unfortunate tendency of the diseased to interrupt otherwise normal chains of thought and description with commentaries upon diseases, real or imagined, cures nonsensical, and apparently logical.”  As you can sort of tell at the end there, it becomes a soup of fragmented language, as the disease takes over the diseased’s attempt at an entry on the disease.

-“In the End,” a rather cool short-short which puts the book of Genesis in reverse and works very well as an imaginary “very last book of the Bible,” as Gaiman has it.

-“Goliath,” a story which was originally a teaser for The Matrix on the promotional website.  Gaiman seems to especially like the idea of the malleability of time in the Matrix.

Anyway, isn’t it funny how these stories put together seem like a recipe for The Raw Shark Texts?  I mean, there’s a text taken over by a kind of language-virus, a möbius-strip return-to-paradise story, and a metaphysical sci-fi freakout on the nature of reality.  It’s all there!  This collection, by the way, came out a year before TRST.  Not that that means anything.  But weird, eh?

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