Maurice Nicholl, who wrote this under the nom de plume of Martin Swayne, was one of the great Fourth Way teachers of the 20th century. Nicholl wrote fiction in the years roughly 1911 to 1924. This is “science fiction”. And it is science fiction of the type and style written in this period in the UK. Its style is quintessentially “British”, its pace Edwardian, its techniques simple yet setting up a protagonism between points of view spiritual and materialistic. And it is a flowing, compelling story. Except for the techniques used to make manifest the ending.
A Poor Novel But a Much Better Inspirational Allegory: The Good, The Bad, and the Baloney
This story attracts a huge number of 5-star reviews; and rightly so. There are two tribes of potential readers involved in the dance with this book though. One tribe are those who will love it. I understand the enthusiasm of that tribe. There are books of this type that I have enjoyed. The other tribe is the tribe that concerns me; the tribe that will buy it and be disappointed.
Although they are a much smaller tribe, it is for the potential disappointees that I write 🙂
Nothing much “happens”. Quite a lot “happens”. This little gem is a minor gem, but it is still a gem. Its smallness is its strength. It is not quite, or really, elegiac, but it carries resonances of that quality, and communicates a wistfulness. It is like a painting in pale watercolors, with butterfly wings for brushes, painted on translucent silk shimmering in a breeze. It is not angst-ridden … but there are concerns and worries.
Flash Fiction at its Best – a Small, Cool, Collection
Each of the four stories collected here is as good as flash fiction gets. Each is set in a cleverly conceived world, and that can be hard to do in 1000 words, while still telling a story. Each is built around a beginning, unfolding of the telling, and an end; also a challenge when the allowed canvas is 1000. If you like fantasy/slipstream flash then I unreservedly recommend.
High Craft: Wonderful Stories of Yearning … and More
I engage with stories – long or short – that resonate with that energetic space within me where lies the yearning and desire to Unfold and Become … all that I Am and can Be. I hugely enjoyed this collection in all kinds of enjoyments of reading. There are a couple of stories that I love, due to these terms of engagement, and all of them I enjoyed engaging with. Continue reading At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson
A Must-Read Classic … But Maybe a Hard Reading Experience …
For those who enjoy sci-fi, and visionary literature of the 20/21 centuries that wants to set us outside humdrum “everyday” life, this is an essential book to have read. It is an important element in the backstory of those two rivers of writing about worlds, and thus about our own, human race, consciousness. Continue reading Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon