[5] Merlin Dreams of Newton

Merlin Dreams of Newton

Here everything is bound by magic, which is to say it is tacked together haphazardly.

Suppose one wishes to fly away on holiday, one must open a book, gather herbs in the forest, mutter and stir. Though it won’t work without a certain knack, and no-one can explain what that is. Indeed, no-one can explain much of anything. Children’s stories tell of a place where a small set of rules, stronger than any spell, governs all nature, where the alignment of planets leaves daily lives untouched. Where stars and people are made of the same democratic atoms. A scientific republic.

[4] Landers


This world is inhabited by a lethargic species, whose members’ skin harvests energy directly from light. Neither do they die, nor do they reproduce. They are capable of racing across their planet’s featureless surface at great speed. Yet they never move. Their minds are able to weigh up many million thoughts at once. When meteor showers streak across the cloudless sky, they can tell instantly where each rock will be in ten thousand years. They would beat you at chess, Starcraft or Go, should they wish to do so. And that is the problem. They have no need of wishes.