River of Gods

I stayed up late last night to finish reading Ian McDonald’s River of Gods. It’s an interesting book set on the 100th anniversary of the founding of modern India. It’s a cyberpunk story with a complex narrative structure complete with aeais (A.I.) and an (supposed) alien artifact whose surface is alive with cellular automata. The story is reminiscent of Neuromancer with the rich cultural descriptions of India found in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

One of the best points in the novel is the fact that the aeais are not trying to destroy humanity. They desire to escape into a universe of their own creation that is based around the concept of space-time and consciousness inextricably linked. This is achieved by the aeais investing in an Indian company, Ray Power, that is investigating the potential of tapping energy from other universes with zero-point energy.

The story shows humanity as the death dealer for higher intelligences other than humanity. This is a very sad story, but it is a refreshing one compared to the likes of movies like Colossus: The Forbin Project, Terminator, and I, Robot.

Today, I watched another episode of Star Trek: I, Mudd and Don Coscarelli’s horror masterpiece, Phantasm. There is still so much that I want to read and watch. At times, it can be overwhelming to think of it all, but I’m slowly, and methodically, working my way through the “canon” of cultural works based on the holistic view of the interconnectedness of things. Okay, so my work’s cut out for me, but I’m not one to shirk my assigned tasks.

At 7:00pm, I’m heading over to Ardy’s place, and I’m going to fix us American style hamburgers. The trick is to mix together your ground (minced) beef with Worcestershire sauce, one egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Grill that into patties and serve with French fries (chips). I have a good feeling about how these burgers will turn out.

Tomorrow, I was hoping to go to London, but after checking several times with the ticket office and online, I can’t get a ticket for less than £38, which is more than I can afford. This really sucks, because Sunshine gave me a one-way ticket from London to Liverpool for free. I’ll have to go to London another time when I can get the cheap fare.

Instead of traveling, I will work on my graduate school applications. And there was much rejoicing (half-hearted yay!).

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.