A short stay in hell - Would you like to ponder the nature of infinity?

mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
Just got done reading "a short stay in hell" by Steven Peck. The premise is simple. A good Mormon man dies and discovers that Zoroastrianism was the one true religion all along. But Ahura Mazda is an understanding God and views Hell as a learning experience. So the main charachter is sent to a vast library with other damned souls and tasked with finding the book of his earthly life.

I stumbled on this one quite by accident. It not very large. Took me about 3 hours to read and cost 2.99 on Amazon Kindle. But just...wow. I cannot stress enough how good this book is. It's an existential horror that meditates on the enormity of infinity and just what it means for our insignificant human selves to truly confront it.

It's good. You should read it.
 

mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
You might find this interview with the author interesting.
Oh good. I need something to listen too since I cant sleep now.

Sounds almost like a Borges premise. Though I've never gotten around to reading Borges either so I'm only going off things I've heard about his stories.
Borges is specifically referenced.
 

MarvinTheParanoidAndroid

This will all end in tears, I just know it.
kiwifarms.net
Sounds a lot like that Twilight Zone episode where the crook goes to Hell but they pull the wool over his eyes and make him believe he's actually in Heaven.
 

ScamL Likely

IT'S! NOT! EVEN! HOT! OUT! SIDE~!
kiwifarms.net
Borges is specifically referenced.
Makes sense that he would be, I guess. If you're writing something as an homage to another author there's always the vague sense that you should directly mention them so as to not come off like a thief. Though part of that impulse comes from knowing that we are all thieves on some level.

Also looking at the Amazon page I noticed that the used copies of it are more expensive than new ones. That always gets me when I see allegedly used copies of my own scribbles going for more than new ones.
Screenshot_20190831-023305.png
 
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mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
Would you say the library is comparable to the aleph?
The Library takes Borges premise and works out its implications. I dont want to go too in depth with it as it would spoil the story. Suffice to say it's the sort of understated horror you cant really describe. At no point are there lies or dissembling. It is what it is. The nightmare (and why I am still awake) comes in the understanding of what it is.
 
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BlueSpark

kiwifarms.net
Makes sense that he would be, I guess. If you're writing something as an homage to another author there's always the vague sense that you should directly mention them so as to not come off like a thief. Though part of that impulse comes from knowing that we are all thieves on some level.

Also looking at the Amazon page I noticed that the used copies of it are more expensive than new ones. That always gets me when I see allegedly used copies of my own scribbles going for more than new ones.
But does the new copy cost a stupid amount to deliver?
That's a common scam on Amazon: sellers will list a product very cheap so that their listing ends up at the top when ranked by price, but they'll make up the difference by charging an unnecessary amount in postage.
 

ScamL Likely

IT'S! NOT! EVEN! HOT! OUT! SIDE~!
kiwifarms.net
But does the new copy cost a stupid amount to deliver?
That's a common scam on Amazon: sellers will list a product very cheap so that their listing ends up at the top when ranked by price, but they'll make up the difference by charging an unnecessary amount in postage.
It probably depends on where it's being shipped to, but I've never had that issue myself.
 

Underestimated Nutria

kiwifarms.net
I just finished it.

I liked it, but I just feel that it could've been so much more. There are so many unanswered questions, unexplored ideas, etc. Why is there a rule against damaging books, why are they asked not to hurt or kill themselves unnecessarily, for instance? At the beginning, there was a redheaded girl who he met after returning from his run, but he said that he didn't remember her from before. Is there something wrong with the continuity here?

It started off really well; when the narrator said that there was an entire book on the history of his life as told by his digestive system and the story of all the meals that had passed through it, etc. I was really excited to keep reading; but when it was just the Library of Babel after all, i.e. a million monkeys at a million keyboards etc., I kinda lost interest in the premise.

And what of the other hells?

Edit: I just coincidentally came across this: https://www.gwern.net/Justifications

Whatcha think?
 
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mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
I just finished it.

I liked it, but I just feel that it could've been so much more. There are so many unanswered questions, unexplored ideas, etc. Why is there a rule against damaging books, why are they asked not to hurt or kill themselves unnecessarily, for instance? At the beginning, there was a redheaded girl who he met after returning from his run, but he said that he didn't remember her from before. Is there something wrong with the continuity here?

It started off really well; when the narrator said that there was an entire book on the history of his life as told by his digestive system and the story of all the meals that had passed through it, etc. I was really excited to keep reading; but when it was just the Library of Babel after all, i.e. a million monkeys at a million keyboards etc., I kinda lost interest in the premise.

And what of the other hells?

Edit: I just coincidentally came across this: https://www.gwern.net/Justifications

Whatcha think?
I think alot of this is the fact that the book was a true amateur effort. It was a self published on the internet amateur project before an actual publisher saw it and decided it needed to be put to paper. The bits of random story lines could be written off as the narrator having long forgotten them himself. The story we are reading is a book he has found after hundreds of billions of years (the universe is only 13 billion years old). I would honestly like to see someone try and make this into a movie. I have a feeling the visual medium can help convey more, like the part with the direites. One thing to read about getting murdered ever morning for years. Another to see it happen. It would also allow for more "fleshing out" of the story.
 
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