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the daily column

On Things

On Staring into Eternity

Standing outside last night, I was looking up at the stars, the lights dark around me. I fancied that, upon staring particularly intently, I could feel our position in the universe. The stars actually looked to be positioned in a 3D space, as opposed to the usual flat feel of pin-points of light peeking though the blanket of the night. The moon, waxing two-thirds full, low on the horizon, particularly served to emphasize the depth of field.

The feeling, incredibly humbling, of a vastness unexplored, unexplorable, and of being able to witness such magnificence… It’s little wonder why early man looked to the heavens when he thought of gods. Science gives a different perspective, but the immenseness of the universe overhead and of insignificance, the tiny scale on which we live, is no less awe-inspiring.

On How Small a World It Is

You travel far and wide, and you meet someone though a new, random connection. A connection accidental and yet in itself surprising, but this new person promises to be something different. Only it turns out they knew everyone you knew, but by chance our paths never crossed.

Or had you met some time years before, but just forgotten? or, had a slightly different decision been made, would you have met then and now? Did you sit next to them on the train every week and just not realise you would meet years down the track? It’s another humbling reminder of how connected we all are with each other.

On Writing Stories

Max Barry’s Syrup just got republished in Australia, and I picked it up the minute I saw it in the shop. And damn me if Syrup isn’t exactly the kind of novel, story, characters and dialogue I’ve always wanted to write. With characters named 6 and @, you know he’s got a quirky idea or two in his head.

While Syrup may have been written years before Jennifer Government, it is almost the better read. Jennifer Government and Company are more acomplished stories, but this is just that much funkier, that much more creatively written and imagined – chapters have many sub-“chapters” which deliver a quirkly by-line on the running plot. Fast paced and creative, Syrup is all kinds of cool, all the while being funny-as.

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