Recursion

I’ve been thinking about memories a lot. I just finished the book Recursion by Blake Crouch. He wrote the excellent Wayward Pines series (which was later turned into a really bad Fox show). He also wrote Dark Matter, which is not a prequel but kind of a precursor to Recursion.

Recursion is about how memory is everything. That without memories, we cease to exist. It’s a science fiction novel, yes. But it’s that particular brand of science fiction that is rooted in just enough Actual Science to mess with your head a little bit. Or, in my case, mess with my head a lot.

I’ve always had a weird relationship with my memories. I’ve moved around a lot, I’ve lived in too many places, and I’m naturally a nostalgic person. In a way I’ve always felt like I’m in a Fog of War video game that I’ve explored too quickly and now there’s no turning back. For that reason I’m prone to silly things like Sunday Night Blues and listening to Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” over and over (and over) again while I remember the past. I don’t know, it makes me feel safe. As Counting Crows said:

If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts.

So back to the book — I am intrigued by this idea that even the present moment is just a memory, and that reliving memories is a form of time travel. I’m not going to spoil the book, but I am going to say that it takes that idea too far (in the best possible way), and that it’s making me take a real hard look at my propensity to live too viscerally in my past experiences and regrets.

Rian van der Merwe Wandering thoughts from the Pacific Northwest