delirious thoughts

by Kentaro Kuribayashi

Hiroki Azuma "A Fish at Chryse (クリュセの魚)"

This post may include a spoiler for the novel. You've been warned.

Hiroki Azuma, formally known as one of Japanese representative critics but recently also known as a novelist and a CEO of a publishing company, has released his new novel titled "A Fish at Chryse (クリュセの魚)." It's been about 3 years since he won Mishima Prize by his first novel, "Quantum Families." This time, too, he did a great work that sufficiently satisfies those who love SF stories.

Mars in the 25th century, we can not even imagine how it will be. His novel has its setting in such an era: Earth is totally different from what it is now, and humans are living in Lunar and Mars. Mars is an economically rich place and embraces a central position of intellectual contents, but people there are hardly interested in politics. Which is described like that USA would be so if it were far enough from the other world.

Akito meets a girl, Marisa, who is beautiful and a bit elder than him, and he instantly falls in love to her. She has a secret and share it to him. It's a fish in a pond. Pond in Mars! She sees an illusion through the fish that Mars is wholly covered by sea in which there are many fishes. Akito notices her other secret that has not been told to him, but they have periodical communication through years without touching it.

After a while during which they don't meet, they have an intersection finally. But she will be gone from him without any explanation. He finds her a "terrorist" who is the "symbol" of a pro-independent radical group after her death which is broadcasted over the space in which humans live. He gets disappointed and will have been a withdrawal until a man, who will be later named as "L", appears. He brings a baby to him. She is a child between Akito and Marisa.

Well, I have to stop abridging the story now. I'll write on a thing that I got interested in most. Feel easy, the sum-up above never spoils your joy to read this book.

The girl, Marisa, uses a word "destiny" at the time they meets first. As you'll know, she is sort of a spy of aliens from outer space. The alien are totally different from what you might imagine. They're something like perfect computer that has a infinite power of computation. They can compute any number of parallel possibilities and, therefore, they're eager to know how some kind of intellectuals can converge possibilities into one world as it is.

World could be anything until the time came. Even now, it occurs endlessly for us. Machines can compute all possibilities, on the other hand, however, they are unable to converge them (I guess it's the author's ultimate expression of frame problem and also related to anthropic principle). it is why machines don't have and will never have "soul."

けれども、このわたしにもひとつだけ理解できたことがある。

きっとこれが魂なのだ。

観測選択体の能力なのだ。

選択と拒絶の力。

やりなおさない力。

We can choose a possibility from ones in the world and reject others. Even though the "choice" is inevitable and even unfortunate, we can embrace it at the end. The Universe consists of infinite possibilities. Human is an animal kind, needless to say, which is just a part of the Universe and to die in vain. However, for this reason, the fact we can converge the possibilities by, for example, having babies, as they happen to have Sumika, is nothing but wonderful thing, literally.

It's just a destiny as Marisa says.