There’s a lot (a lot!) I liked about Karen Lord’s scifi novel The Best of All Possible Worlds. This snippet, for instance, puts words to a childhood wonder I remember from elementary school when learning math:
“Standard Time was invented by Sadiri pilots. Most Sadiri procedures and quantification followed straight lines and linear progressions, created for the convenience of the ten-fingered. But Time… Time belonged to a higher realm. It could not be carried in human hands, not while it constantly carried human minds. It was all circles, wheels within wheels, a Standard year of three hundred sixty Standard days coiled up in twelve months, which in turn were composed of the small whirlings of twelve hours day and twelve hours night, tiny spinning minutes and seconds, ever-cycling breaths and blinks and beats.
“To be described as having a pilot’s mind was both curse and compliment; it could mean being unable to tell the difference between prophecy, memory, and mere déjà vu.”– Karen Lord, The Best of All Possible Worlds
I just couldn’t fathom why the decimal system is different from time measurements, and remember that for a time trying to reconcile them was very confusing. But time—heh, heh—helped with that, of course, along with more advanced classes, in addition to a certain amount of shrugging and just getting on with life.
It’s intriguing when a book serendipitously reminds you of thoughts you thought were long buried, isn’t it?
Lord, Karen. The Best of All Possible Worlds. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013, p. 40.
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