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Kitno


Total Posts: 491
Joined: Mar 2005
 
Posted: 2020-05-21 22:05
The wall looked entirely uniform if just icy, wooden, dark. The building opposite to my right down this dark passage was just made of communist broken concrete without doors or windows.

The building on my right was only two yards away. The fresh, white powder snow squeaked under my hiking boots. The 100ml of vodka and a gherkin which I paid for whatever passed as a dollar did the trick to warm my belly over the road before.

Like everywhere in Belarus it was hard to determine what was open and what was dead. I saw the speakeasy eye-level sliding grates in the little night light affording by the buildings light above. I pushed against the wall – the door – and it opened. I went up the dark stairs without any smell which doubled back on themselves to reach the next floor. Inside was the dull, quiet tones of some crappy Russian music and a near toothless 60-year-old in the dark at the bar with many empty red leather seats around while he drank Borscht with an empty shot glass next to him.

The girl behind the bar looked bored until she saw me a Western foreigner, a Triple Nine Pole. I had finally made it in Baranovichi and had lost my tail.

All the soul of man is resolution, which in valiant men falters never, until their last breath.

nikol


Total Posts: 1126
Joined: Jun 2005
 
Posted: 2020-06-11 22:41
"That indeed seemed to be what had happened. But there was another, less
pleasant alternative.
This was expressed in the Doormhan Propositions as follows: 'Among the
kingdoms of probability that the Twisted World sets forth, one must be exactly
like our world, and another must be exactly like our world except for one
detail, and another exactly like our world except for two details. and so
forth.'
Which meant that he might still be on the Twisted World, and that this Earth
which he perceived might be no more than a passing emanation, a fleeting moment
of order in the fundamental chaos, destined to be dissolved at any moment back
into the fundamental senselessness of the Twisted World.
In a way it made no difference, since nothing is permanent except our
illusions. But no one likes to have his illusions threatened, and Marvin wanted
to know where he stood.
Was he on Earth, or was he on a replica of Earth?"

Another piece:

" Marvin and Kraggash grinned at each other in the momentary euphoria of
identity-intoxication. Then they flung themselves at each other's throats.
Manual strangulation followed apace. The three numbered ones, robbed of a
birthright they had never possessed, took up conventional poses of stylized
ambiguity. The two lettered ones, granted an identity they had seized anyhow,
tore and bit at each other, flung forth defiant arias and cringed before
devastating recitatives. Number One watched until he grew bored, then began
playing with a lap dissolve.
That did it. The whole shooting works slid away like a greased pig on roller
skates coming down a solid glass mountain, only slightly faster.
Day succeeded night, which succeeded in making a perfect fool of itself.
Plato wrote: 'It ain't whatcha do, it's the way thatcha do it.' Then,
deciding that the world was not yet ready for this, he scrubbed it out.
Hammurabi wrote: 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' But he wasn't
sure it was true, so he scratched it out.
Gautama Buddha wrote: 'Brahmins stink.' But later he revised it."


"Mindswap", Robert Sheckley

I love this book.
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