Karamazov and the Squinch

For the “throwaway book” I read on my recent business trip, for entertainment value I selected Walter Jon Williams Implied Spaces. This book is a relatively straightforward science fiction far future book in the modern vein. The name of the book, “implied spaces” is in away all about squinches. The residents of this far future world live in and construct for their entertainment pocket universes designed to order. However, in designing your perfect fjords and vistas … between them what appears is not to design … and those pockets end up being, like squinches or being “spaces who’s construction is implied” and not designed by intent. At the beginning, we find our somewhat implausible hero entertaining himself by personally exploring “implied spaces” finding mostly deserts and spiders.  (Note: spoilers ahead), but I’d like to comment on some of implied spaces in Mr Williams story arc itself.

One of the plot twists we find toward the end of the book, is that the villain discovers empirically that the universe of our origin is itself designed. It is a space which has been designed by some exterior and unknown entity. It is … made to design. But … this outrages our villain for our universe … unlike the universes which are constructed by design by his civilization seems sloppy. Our villain’s rage and his driving force (creating the problem for our protagonists) … is in a sense the theodicy problem … or the Karamazov question returning in modern guise, except God is replaced by the unknown designers, but whom the villain is intent on recasting and reshaping humanity to the quest of confronting in person that errant creator. Why? Because in our universe he is finds it an extreme affront that man and the pain of humanity, for him a thing looming so large in the Universe … might be a squinch … just an implied space for the creator.

Ultimately Mr Williams provides no good insights I think for confronting theodicy … but for the deist (not the Christian) is the “rage against the incompetence of of the designer” truly a problem of that sort? I have not always been a Christian. That man might be an Creator’s squinch? Is that really a problem for the non-believer?

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One comment

  1. Jou Baur says:

    And yet, it is an excellent book for all of that, an excellent story, and well-told.
    It is also quite interesting to find that we may be nothing more then the rats in the cracks of society, a squinch, so to speak.
    At least he didn’t turn out to be god, undercover, like in so many novels.
    Very enjoyable.
    That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it.