V. Press is very very delighted to share the publication of Fifteen Brief Moments in Time, a novella-in-flash by Philip Charter.
“A book of unexpected insights and extraordinary grace, rippling with loveliness, sorrow, and finesse. All taking place in one room, bound by a single unraveling ribbon of time.”
“Charter balances the light but rich ideas of philosophy and time with well-drawn if flawed characters, hustling and striving, and wishing for better lives. As one of them says, ‘There are no checks at the door. Anyone can walk in and expand their mind.’ I’m glad I took my seat for this novella and surrounded myself with the sounds and actions of its characters.”
Fifteen Brief Moments in Time is a very fast and very philosophical novella-in-flash.
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Luca Cangemi and everyone he knows will be long dead, but the moment will come. Theoretical physicists believe it will be anywhere from 2.8 to 22 billion years in the future. In that moment, everything reverses.
The Big Crunch is a cosmological event in our future and our past in which the density of matter grows sufficiently that gravitational attraction overcomes the expansion that began with the Big Bang. Entropy reverses and the second law is broken. Chaos retreats.
Order is regained as space contracts. Broken rocks reform and decayed bodies reanimate. We live our lives in reverse, unexperiencing everything we did the first time around, moving backwards, shrinking towards birth. Instead of questions about creation, we search for the harbinger of order. Who began this? What is our final form?
Luca imagines the crowds at his book signings dissipating and the offices of his academic fellowships decreasing in size. Wrong turns are righted and his family grows closer. His briefcase heals itself and he returns it to his mother. Life rewinds back to him as a young boy, unreading the words that inspired him to look for meaning in all of this. If it can all be reversed, are all shared experiences undone? All bonds broken? Luca returns into his parents, then ancestors, apes, microbes, and nothing. The earth, the planets and stars all merge into one perfectly ordered mass.
Yet, this is not an end, but another beginning in which the universe is reborn in another bang. Galaxies, planets, plants, and philosophy professors will live the same lives as they did billions of years before (and after). The process of positive and negative entropy repeats and we all make the same mistakes again.
Time elapsed: the infinitely repeating cycle of a universe
Excerpt from 'The Direction of Everything'
Phil will be launching Fifteen Brief Moments in Time with an online Zoom reading and Q & A on Monday, 6 June 2022 at 7pm (London time). Please email him on firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom link.