Thursday, March 12, 2009

SSS: "Proof of Zero"

I'm not sure if "Proof of Zero" ended well or not. The story, written by David Schwartz, features a detective investigating a missing persons case. Increase Fermin, a playwright noted for her mathematical-inspired plays, has not called her roommate in two days and said roommate believes something is wrong. The police have not been helpful, but Detective Wotojowicz is there to do his thing. Ya know, investigate.

Numbers roll through the story, interrupting the narrative. "...274...", "...68...", and others alternate through "Proof of Zero". I've two thoughts on this. First, W- is somewhat compulsive about counting - so perhaps the numbers is an unexplained counting. Second, and more likely, they are somehow tied into Increase's disappearance. And yet - I'm not sure Schwartz ever gives a completely satisfactory answer to this. Or, he does and I simply did not understand it. This is just as likely.

"Proof of Zero" is a clever story, one which compels readers to try to figure out what is going on. "Proof of Zero" is an interesting story, but one which ultimately did not make a whole lot of sense to me. As such, it was not quite as satisfying as it otherwise could have been. Good, but not good enough.

This is the eighth story from Spicy Slipstream Stories.

1 comment:

Books Fall Open said...

I've had reading experiences like that -- where I know the author is trying to do something clever, but it goes way over my head, and I'm just left there blinking, wondering what I missed. It's very frustrating.