World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis


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Post July 13, 2005, 11:40:30 AM

World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

<br>"caked with the accumulations of unconcern", heh heh excellent and just one example of the superb standard of writing at play within this short.<br><br>However, the story perplexed me, and seemed a bit unrelated to SF, like a few other tales this issue.<br><br>While reminiscent of somewhere between A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter Miller) and the Bene Gesserit from the Dune universe (he could see various iterations of himself/other generations), this hermit Micheal was basically someone who had a deep religious manifestation/revelation, spent his mortal existence tormented due to having glanced such pristine knowledge, then proceeded to see true light upon departing his mortal coil, for only the truly enlightened realize death is another beginning. am i on the money or miles off? <br><br>great detached, sparse environment and surreal descriptions kept the story viable, but for me religion in fiction must be mixed in with some nefarious agenda (having the illuminati involved somehow would have been perfect, thank you much). otherwise it doesn't quite make itself felt.<br><br>Lee
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Post July 13, 2005, 12:39:02 PM

Re: World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

Picture yourself on a boat in a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade -- oops, wrong image. Picture yourself standing between two mirrors, with your reflections receding to infinity in both directions. Now suppose you are somehow able to see each reflection in full detail -- and notice that the 947th iteration on the left side is picking its nose.<br><br>At this point, you would conclude that SOMEBODY is messin' wit' chu. In Michael's case, that somebody (he presumes) must be God. Perhaps the message here is that Michael missed the point of the manifestation ... and only realized his mistake at the end.<br><br>Harlan Ellison (in one of his stories -- can't remember which one) said that all gods are mad. Certainly, from the human perspective, they must seem so. From God's perspective, on the other hand, MICHAEL must have seemed insanely obsessive.<br><br>Bruce Lee (or rather the character he portrayed in 'Enter the Dragon') told his student that he was overthinking his movements. "It is like a finger pointing at the moon ... concentrate on the finger, and you will miss all that heavenly glory!" Michael spent his life trying to count the pores on the finger.<br><br>Thus undeth the lesson. There will be a test.<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 13, 2005, 09:45:07 PM

World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

<br>heh heh thank you master, it did make things a bit clearer. now i know picking your nose makes the heavens tremble with fuming fury, and that Bruce Lee was actually a budding astronomer.<br><br>Lee

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Post July 18, 2005, 12:38:40 AM

Re: World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

This story was worth reading if for nothing but the prose. As many of you will atest, I'm not afraid of facing religion in stories, my Doyen and Ogema for example, so that didn't throw me. And I came away with Robert's supposition as well, the hermit may have been looking at/for the wrong thing and spent his life running in circles when maybe God was just saying, "Hey what's your bucket, get off that rock and go preach!" or "Verily, go find some company." or whatever. <br><br>Either way, the story was great right up to the end, when it had no satisfactory denouement. What a horrible thing for God to do, torture this guy for many years, only to give him no real answer at the end, save that eternity might get real boring. <br><br>I felt a little let down, but I loved the story and the prose was very solid. <br><br><br><br>-- david j.
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Post July 18, 2005, 06:38:04 PM

Re: World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

The Zen moment at the end is that there is no answer, there is no question. It just is. It is not God torturing the poor hermit. It is himself. He never accepts the vision. Instead, he spends his life trying to decipher something undecipherable.<br><br>Oh, and I liked this one too. ;)
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Post July 25, 2005, 11:59:15 AM

Re: World Without End, Amen by Derek Davis

I like the zen like ending as well. It is almost like "God" telling him that the path isn't through finding out the "answer", the path is just accepting what is.<br><br>I love the way this is written, the prose is beautiful and descriptive in just the right amount. I also like that it has a little more to give that just being a story, it is a little food for thought too.<br><br>Well done.<br><br>Gabriel
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