The indominable Aeon Magazine had an intriguing article entitled, Why speaking to yourself in the third person makes you wiser and Chris thought it presented an interesting proposition. Talking about onself in the third person, much like a stereotypical Hollywood barbarian, supposedly engenders a better understanding of other people.
So Chris is going to try this until September 10th in hopes of witnessing his own personal growth. Already Chris understands he has issues with socializing. For example when he met Megan at Kim’s party last weekend, he realized at the end he was talking to her like she was a guy rather than a woman he’d like to express some sort of interest in sometime in the future.
Saturday afternoon, Chris finished reading The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz. It’s a tale about a Michelin starred restaurant in space and a young philosopher prince. Rather than weaving some epic tale of saving the universe, fraught with over-the-top tension and outrageous scenarios, Ferrett crafted a solid story about people who fit their element, discovering how their common goals intertwine during the journey.
One aspect of the tale which Chris enjoyed was the complete absence of food porn. Food porn, for the uninitiated, is where an author pads out five or six pages of their novel with descriptions of a sumptuous meal. Constant references to various foods and recipes meant to elicit hunger in the reader. Chris didn’t find any of this. Rather he found satisfaction as the main character Kenna, an Inevitable Philosopher, sought his own Inevitable Philosophy. Something he should’ve discovered years ago much to the disappointment of his Inevitable Philosopher parents. By the time Kenna arrives at The Sol Majestic restaurant, he’s starving to death and The Sol Majestic’s owner Paulius embraces the boy out of humanity and seeing an opportunity to maintain restaurant’s status as a peerless eatery.
While reading the tale, Chris imagined the story as being animated in the style of Rock and Rule. There were a few points in the story where he wouldn’t put it down. There was something about the book which reawakened his love of reading long-form fiction. To the best of Chris’s recollection, he hasn’t completed a novel in years. Lots of short fiction, perhaps a novella, but no novels. Consider the fact that Chris is cautious, perhaps a bit effete, when it comes to his reading material. He suffered through The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers in the vain hope something would happen, elevating the yarn above Becky playing Barbies in Space with a lesbian dinosaur. He did pick up other books, but put them down unread because the plots didn’t hook nor reel him in.
After many months of beating himself up, accusing himself of having grown old, stupid, with a shattered attention span thanks to smartphone addiction, the fact Chris completed and enjoyed a novel lent new hope that all is not lost.
If you have the opportunity, give The Sol Majestic a read.