Monday, November 30, 2009

"Count the Clock that Tells the Time" by Harlan Ellison

Next up is "Count the Clock that Tells the Time," which hinges off the idea that time is conserved like energy. In other words, that wasted time, like energy, has to go somewhere. That, instead of being "wasted," it is siphoned off into a sort of pool of time, where it can be recycled and used later.

An interesting premise, to be sure; one which is made more interesting with the addition of the idea that people who have wasted their entire lives, like this story's main character, eventually become so weighed down with wasted time that they are suck into this parallel pool/dimension of wasted time.

Of course, what I've said so far just makes for an interesting premise of a Sci Fi story. It doesn't make an interesting story in and of itself (fact I wish some other authors would realize). But, again, Ellison doesn't disappoint, using the premise explained above to explore what happens when two such "wasted" individuals meet each other in the formless void of the time pool/dimension, and fall for each other. Through this further wrinkly, a sort of irony is achieved in that the two characters never would have met if they hadn't wasted their lives. It also adds the further question as to whether they are still wasting their lives together.

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