“An innovative, thought-provoking premise...”
– Kirkus Reviews
Skydore’s debut New Age offering examines the secret to permanent peace on Earth.
The book opens with a preface stating that, in 2012, the author was contacted by the Cosmic Peace Council, an organization that transmitted the Alien Peace Scrolls to planet Earth in hopes that a select few people would follow its teachings and bring permanent peace to the planet. What follows is a discussion on the ideas of pain, war, and how one’s personal choices can either doom or save the world, divided into a series of essays (“Air Did Not Invent the Flower,” “Meaning Beyond Words and Truth Beyond Meaning,” “Peace on Planet Earth,” two essays titled “No Exceptions,” and others). It also includes two pages of definitions of key terms, including “Pain,” “Work (Reduce Pain),” “Peace,” and “Joy.” This unique, conversational work is part stream-of-consciousness, part question-and-answer session and reads much like a lecture. It seems to blend fiction and nonfiction, and readers may sometimes find it hard to determine when the author is being tongue-in-cheek or positing a serious point. Skydore claims that the style of the book, which includes short, sometimes-incomplete sentences and unusually capitalized words, is part of its power; it’s attention-grabbing, but it’s also confusing. The book is at its best when it keeps things simple. The underlying premise is important and worthy of examination: that everything and everyone is interconnected and that to find lasting peace on Earth, one must work to reduce pain. But Skydore spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince readers why they should read the book instead of parsing out how peace, in her view, can be achieved. When the book does discuss its central theme, it’s oversimplified: “Be an Angel and Reduce Your Pain always and with No Exceptions.” The book’s definitions also generate more questions than answers. Peace, for example, is defined as “A Third Something in Existence, said Third Something including a First Something in Existence and a Second Something in Existence.”
An innovative, thought-provoking premise unfortunately obscured in a deluge of perplexing metaphors.
Pub Date: July 23, 2012
Page count: 130pp
Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015
Fabulous computing technologies render profound intellectual concepts totally indecipherable in this debut sci-fi head-scratcher.
Professor Jim Schmitt of the Computational Neurosemantics Lab at the Salk Institute shows science reporter Jane Smith the lab’s Human Visual Cortex Recorder, which records everything that passes through one’s consciousness, real or imagined. (In the story, real-life director James Cameron uses it to make a movie straight from his imagination, without the bother of sets or actors.) It’s eerie as well as handy: one test subject recorded a video sequence of blinking lights, the mere sight of which makes Jane sob. After the disjointed narrative lurches through interludes of mystical talk about a “peaceful planet” near Alpha Centauri and a “Quantum Consciousness Bridge,” Jane begins having online conversations with the Google-Oracle Database System, a repository of all human knowledge that spits out baffling computer-ese and translates it into bromides such as “Make Love not War.” Then Jim and Jane go to a lab under the Australian desert, where real-life luminaries, such as physicist Stephen Hawking, hold forth. More enigmatic conversations ensue, and then a powerful superconducting magnet materializes a cat from the future. Formatted as a play, the story’s speeches and keystroking by impassioned nerds seem intended to get at something about the linkage between concepts and existence. However, it’s impossible to say exactly what that is, as it’s couched in impenetrable babble, including philosophical assertions (“The most important question you can ask is whether Something includes a Concept”) and Dungeons & Dragons-like text (“A Human in First World can have Form Skill in Second World, only by having Pure Form Skill in the Transcendence Form Field and by creating a Form in Second World using a Non-Human in Second World with Form Skill but without Nod Skill”). There are also reams of babble from the GODS computer—“A Third Something in Existence, said Third Something including a First Something in Existence and a Second Something in Existence”—that drone on for chapters. Mathiassen is a courageous writer, unafraid to potentially baffle readers. Some of his conceits sound like they could eventually ripen into interesting thought experiments. However, few readers may stay awake to find out.
A stupefying sci-fi meditation on mind and matter.
Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2015
Passion in life
Answers. To life.
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