Saturday, 2 December 2017

Time and Space Squid

What kind of science fiction makes a grown woman invest emotion in a genetically enhanced squid?

The book is called Time by Stephen Baxter, and it's about space squid. No joke. It's great.

This book is called Time. I'm only half-way through it, and already it's managed to walk through the whole future of humanity up to 10170 (that's 170 extra zeros) years away, past when the only light in the sky is the brief flickers of matter as it passes through the event horizons of black holes. Of course this kind of time is incomprehensible, that's the whole point of the book. Does it make life any more precious, any more different? Is it comforting if you knew that your descendants would be there right up until everything has just, sort of, drifted away and died. Such a long time away that even the protons and neutrons have decayed? Sometimes life feels like a struggle for meaning, and it goes back to what I've always thought. That there is no "meaning" to it all, we just exist. Sorry, not sorry. Religious ideals and other spiritual callings have never cut it for me. They seem cowardly, giving importance where there isn't any. We just survive and reproduce and then our children survive and reproduce, and try not to mess up the planet on the way to eternity. You can spin it in that depressive way, but it's also awesome. I mean that by the definition of the word, inspiring awe. There's so much around us, and it's refreshing sometimes to be reminded how small we are. Because in 10170 years, who's going to know about it? Scrap that, even in 200 years I'll have faded out of memory. I exist for myself, and for my loved ones. We can comfort each other in the emptiness.

I crocheted some space squid on their space rocket, too. The rocket is a christmas present for a not-quite 2-year-old. I'm planning to start him thinking about this stuff early. So he's prepared, you know?

Limpet x

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