By David Drexler
I was quite looking forward to this zine, as I really enjoyed the last issue that I read. However, I found it disappointing.
The zine is made up of three essays, and unlike last time the language used in them seems far more...normal. The first essay is on the nature of time and a theory on why coincidences happen. Now I myself have spent time thinking about the nature of the universe, and what if everything we know is a lie, etc. (mostly through the “we all live in a computer simulation” idea), but I just couldn’t really get into this. I don’t think of coincidences as something special or important, for every person whose last name seems to reflect on their career, there are thousands we don’t notice who have no connection.
The second essay continues to discuss various aspects about the creation of a reality, and focuses on the idea of “hronir” from a Borges short story (that as I believe I read on the same trip that I got this zine, perhaps fulfilling Drexler’s idea that thought can create imperfect objects). The whole thing sort of reminds me of Philip K. Dick (and Borges), and I’m realizing that I much prefer my discussions on the nature of reality to occur in fiction. A Dickian short story about trying to create thought-ideas in reality sounds pretty good.
The third essay is on the nature of truth, and again discusses something that sounds like a good basis for a story. The concept of “vac siddhi” is “if you never speak anything but the exact truth, eventually, everything you say will become true.”
The essay goes into a bit of territory I find a bit...off putting. Namely equating the idea that there are certain cultures/countries that lie more than others and that has led to do their current impoverished state. Surely Americans, and politicians, lie all the time, yet they are amongst the richest people in the world. (Yes, yes, global economic collapse, whatever.)
Overall there are some interesting ideas here, but I guess I’d rather have them conveyed to me through fiction. Maybe I should write them myself. Also, there are no mummies doing strange experiments in this issue. A clear failure!