Monday, January 3, 2022

Micro Mention "The Punch Escrow"

Though I've heard it before, "The Punch Escrow" by Tal M. Klein probably cemented the concept of the ship of Theseus paradox in my mind better than anything else. The book is a fun sci-fi invention gone-wrong adventure, but it also doesn't shy away from more profound metaphysical questions. 

A couple of Star Trek the Next Generation episodes deal with a topic similar to what is central to this novel's plot. In the interest of not spoiling this novel, I won't say which, but if you're a true Trek fan, you'll probably be able to work it out just from the publisher's summary.

Suffice to say, "The Punch Escrow" and those Star Trek episodes take on the maddening question of what are we, really. Are we nothing more than the matter and energy that makes up our bodies? Or is there some sort of soul assigned to that matter, and only it, specifically? Or is it a third option, that fundamentally, what we are is a story that we tell ourselves, an unbroken chain of continuity that doesn't require either one body or a soul?

Anyway, you can read my full review of this novel here.


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