Saturday, April 14, 2018

BITING THE SUN



Wow, what a great read this was!  

Tanith Lee's novel of a future dystopia (available under ISBN 978-0553581300) is a gaudy vision of human society that's been placed under firm orders from their robot masters to ENJOY THEMSELVES ANY WAY THEY WANT, IN A CONSEQUENCE-FREE ENVIRONMENT.   This world has no crime, no want, no danger.  If you want it, and if you can imagine it, you get it.

What are you frowning about?  Doesn't that sound dystopic enough for you?   It should.  With no challenges to overcome, no meaningful connection with anyone, no conflict, and not even a job to slouch off to in the morning -- in short, NO DISCORD -- people in this society , hemmed in by Order, spend a whole lot of time KILLING THEMSELVES.  Not just once, but OVER AND OVER.  And why isn't once enough to finish the job, you ask?  The robots have figured out a way to rescue you from death and they just slot you back into a new body.  Then you go back to Square One.  Welcome back to despair!!!

The story really begins when one of these people starts to seriously CHAFE, wondering how life could somehow become, I don't know, maybe the right word is MEANINGFUL.  The protagonist's efforts to find anything to do that is really worth doing starts the story rolling.  

And oh, the wonders we get to see!

This book is a wonderful process of CLEARING AWAY THE COBWEBS and walking away from everything you know.  If everything you know is 100% PHONY, you can hope that the new territory you're entering somehow turns out to be REAL.

Sighted along another axis, this is about discovering that your perfect, universal Order is screwing you up six ways to Sunday, and what you need is a serious dose of Chaos to make it right again.

This would be a great story, not just for Discordians to read, but soto Zen Buddhists, scientolators, chronic drunkards, fanatics, general-purpose hedonists and anyone else who could benefit from a little head clearing.

I want to draw your attention to what the woman in the cover illustration is doing.  She's standing in a garden...

...Plucking an apple off a tree.

That's the whole story in a nutshell.  When she rolls that apple it will change everything.

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