121. Sum (David Eagleman)

Subtitled “Forty Tales from the Afterlife,” Sum compiles 40 visions of the afterlife, making it structurally similar to Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, and Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, and *ahem* my own Clockfire. The premise contains an inherent danger — that each “vision” of the afterlife will be more saccharin than the last — but Eagleman (a neuroscientist) avoids bland religiosity for the most part. His gods, when present, are weak, tired, failures for the most part, and often not present at all, or as bacteria unaware of our existence, alien races less intelligent than we, and so forth. Almost entirely compelling, sometimes nightmarish (and often science-fictional), and cleverly twisting “tales” that deserve your attention.

Liked it? Take a second to support Jonathan Ball on Patreon!

Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

Liked it? Take a second to support Jonathan Ball on Patreon!
I want to send you my best new work.

I want to send you my best new work.

Every week, I will send you my best new page, and tell you about how I wrote it. I'll share resources I used, techniques you could try, and other behind-the-scenes information and writing advice.

Liked it? Take a second to support Jonathan Ball on Patreon!

Join the Conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.