Monday, August 10, 2015

Jellyfish Dreams

Kindle singles are handy for short spurts of reading. Like over coffee or lunch on my own or while waiting for a really late friend to make our date. Some Kindle singles are incoherent, some are great, and some are average. A trip to the hair salon is necessary once a month or so. Finished M. Thomas Gammarino's 'Jellyfish Dreams' during the various steps of a scalp treatment.

The story isn't too bad. A little disjointed. But it was okay. Protagonist is atheist biologist Sam Rogers who is very much in love with his fiancee Camille who passed away too young. Perhaps it's because of her, but career-wise, he's pretty much the leading authority on cloning, cryogenics, immortality studies and all that.

The story kinda centered around a 'black hole' underneath Sam Rogers' sofa in his old house. The government took control and that hole grew into an amazing phenomenon. People near and far came to see it. There were mini discussions in the story about how religions view the hole, and how people willingly step into the void. No tangible results ever came out of any study of the hole. Nobody who went through ever returned. It was just a black hole, defying all logic. Any thing that went in, never came out. It must have existed for about a decade or so before a strange jellyfish invasion, and more people decided to take their chances by stepping into the black hole.

Even Sam Rogers wasn't immune to the hole in spite of his resolution in sticking to science. He missed Camille. In the ensuing years and strange turn of events, he grew even more lonely and isolated. The story traces his thoughts and feelings, even to the extent of digging up his fiancee's corpse/skeleton from the cemetery to try to resurrect her, and his eventual 'surrender' to the black hole. The jellyfish invasion was complete and his little sanctuary was going to be overrun. He chose the same path as everyone else. Into the void. The story tries to reason with science, religion and philosophy. Very ambitious for a short single.


The clincher is at the end, is when readers realize the story was written by Camille, whose reanimation happened after Sam has stepped into the hole. She had become a gelatinous hybrid jellyfish that carried on breeding "thoroughbred jellies".

When I initially awoke from that gray slumber, I spent some days in the house, confused, alienated by these transformations to my body, this metamorphosis, which I experienced as sudden. I was also growing hungry, though it was different from any hunger I had experienced before. There was none of that gnawing, nor even the weakness or irritability, so much as just a rabid, unequivocal desire to be in the sun. The closest human analogue is probably lust.

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