Reviews of Reading Beyond the Event Horizon


Two of the most formidable science fiction/fantasy books of the latter half of the Twentieth Century and the opening of the Twenty-First Century are both heavily into the government, adding governmental thought and doings to literary ones. These are Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL. Both books take on the established order and challenge reality with mind-blowing departures from the norm. The reader of this review may want to ask why I have not included LORD OF THE RINGS in this evaluation. It was equally big and created much the same social dislocation. I’d say in answer to this that LOTR showed me nothing; it had no original premises and showed only a fantasy world having no actual values or purposes. It was big but what went on in it didn’t relate to anything. I suppose that was its intention, to set itself apart from everything else and show the kind of emptiness non-existence has, but it was a laborious read, especially since there was no actual profit from the reading, nothing the reader could really take with him for his own considerations. Its characters weren’t particularly human and—again the author’s point—could not be identified with. It had the black magic effect of being insisted upon and defended to the wire by its creators, all the time unknown and in the midst of other people with their orgiastically evolved book; you never knew who was going to like it and couldn’t find other people to discuss it. The book tended to be an earthly black hole complete with event horizon. It was backed by people who were big, but was not in itself intellectually large and not very sensible, partaking of the nonsense element in literature (Lear, Carroll, et al). The point of the book was making it big without having anything truly reader-satisfying within it. Evil mostly overcomes good in it, but it is not a good that can come up with the traditional comebacks to the influence of evil. The same thing was seen in STAR WARS and BATTLEFIELD EARTH; STAR TREK and even SG-1 were asserting the contrary; DR. WHO was also set in a black hole and had an event horizon.  The other comparable fare was just exercises in nihilism. Good was not being allowed because it was irrelevant. However, these were attacks on nihilism which really got into what they were attacking, but none of it had sincerity.

However, the two books I’ve just brought to attention were working their way out of this miasma toward some purpose. King’s book was diagnosing the Kennedy Assassination in terms of existential flux and argument with the principles of reality, and touring the terrain sociologically according to what the author had perceived in the general process of life in regard to his themes. Brown’s book altered reality and attempted to verify the alterations, much as King’s suggested a different historical process, not to leave the reader immured in the enforced views of life available and the living experiences pendant upon these views. Brown said that everything was different than it was and put on view an imaginary government which fostered black magic and which he endeavored to say resembled the real one, and which he put up against the real one so far as he understood it. They were written within the scope of their perceptions of the situations involved, held to what was understood to constitute the existence laid out for people, as in Camus’ THE STRANGER, but always thrashing around and attempting to bust out from reality as it was seen, occurred and was determined. I would say the books require much thought and discussion, but there does not seem to be much opportunity for this in existence. The books go against literature as it has existed, and are non-discussable by those who devote their time to literature. Yet they are challengers, books forced into rebellion by the impossibility of living according to present-day standards.  What lies beyond?

We here are spaced, with little real knowledge of what is to come.