Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FB Chatter Re-posted.

I first posted these story reactions to the FB group. I re-post them here "as is" mostly for my own record.

"Six Fingers of Time"

So, no big surprise that I loved Six Fingers of Time. As a Flash fan, I'll note that this is the best non-canonical Flash story ever!  An average man who discovers he has super-speed is likely to use it to play mean tricks on all the slowpokes and to sexually harass women. The story gets creepy at times (and the sexuality is borderline disturbing). The story itself is very wise in its depiction of the slow process of gaining wisdom and what it all does or does not amount to. Its sucker punch ending is a nice reinforcer of its Ecclesiastes-type themes of life under the (static) sun.

"The Hole on the Corner"

Sunday evening means I treated myself to a Lafferty story: "The Hole on the Corner"
As a man living the Golden Cliche (I come home to a stupid dog, a beautiful wife, and six goofy children; is that one too many!?), this story really struck me. I'm not sure if there is any real science to this story's sf idea and if there is, if it holds any water. Probably not. What rings so true, though, is the idea of each of us being a multitude, gravity consisting in the depth and breadth of all the weirdness of so much concentrated personality. The raucous joy of it all is exactly what draws me to Lafferty and why his work resonates with me so much.

"Square and Above Board"
"Jack Bang's Eyes"

My Sunday evening Lafferty reading was derailed last week. Tomorrow, I know I'll be driving half of the afternoon. So, I decided to treat myself to two Lafferty stories today. A few quick thoughts:
"Square and Above Board"
"Jack Bang's Eyes"
I'm a gamer. What struck me in these stories is that Lafferty may have been a gamer. He is appreciative in his descriptions of gaming. In "Square," he understands and conveys perfectly the different mindsets of a gambler and a chess player and where those two might intersect on a checkerboard and more broadly in life. In "Eyes," there's a delightful moment in which Jack Bang realizes that his enhanced sight has ruined the joy of poker for him, revealing a key insight that games (and life) are fun and challenging because of human limitations. In other words, human limitations may be a design feature, not a bug. This is of course more or less clearly stated in Lafferty's theological aside on the veiled purposes of God and the "funny-lookingness" of ears. Again, Lafferty satisfies in his amplitude, offering up more of everything, revealing the riches that surround us that we too often hearing do not hear and seeing do not see.

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