“Sum” and “Other people”

Several weeks ago Neil Denny did an interview for little atoms with David Eagleman.
And as usual with little atoms, my reading list increased, with even more books on the stack around my room. Although they mainly discussed his book “incognito” (still on the stack), I was especially intrigued by the short mention of “sum”, a collection of short stories about the afterlife. It finally arrived yesterday (the disadvantage of ordering the hardcopy first edition – but what else should a partial bibliophilic do?) and I read through it today in one session.

The ideas in the book are simply amazing: if you accept the idea that there might be an afterlife, what would it look like? We are of course not talking about the simple “Paradise with … and few hundred virgins” propagated by most religions. But what if reincarnation is a continuous way down, with each return being on a lower level (“descent of species”)? Or if Douglas Adams was wrong and we are not products of a superior intelligent race, but rather of a group of much more stupid people, who just wanted to find the meaning of life, the universe and everything (“Spirals”)?

So just buy the book, read it and enjoy yourself. And maybe you find another possibility of the afterlife and become a possibilian.

When reading sum, I was reminded of a short story by Neil Gaiman, in his book “Fragile Things”, which was probably the best description of hell, that I ever heard. As I did not find the text on the web, and I will not urge you to buy two books today (although you might do – Fragile Things is also an excellent read), I found a video of Gaiman himself reading the story.
Just listen and enjoy:


About brainfisch

Some unnecessary musings on life, the universe and everything.
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