“Toward the Luminous Towers,” by Bogi Takács

“Toward the Luminous Towers,” by Bogi Takács.

Clarkesworld, Short story.

Takács is fantastic and intriguing on Twitter, and I’ve been looking forward to reading something of theirs and bringing it to the group. 🙂

Content notes: warfare and combat injuries described in detail, medical abuse specifically directed at a disabled person, oppressive political regimes, detailed discussion of suicide.

Read the story:

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/takacs_09_16/

5 thoughts on ““Toward the Luminous Towers,” by Bogi Takács”

  1. Definitely enjoyed this story. Payseur really gets the heart of this story right: it’s about being swallowed up by the system. Not a revolutionary theme, to be sure, but one that certainly remains timely and powerful.

    I particularly like how the narrator says, "I genuinely want to serve. I genuinely want to protect." That’s a repeating theme: the narrator believes in the cause; the problem is that the system, the war, the military take that commitment to be absolute. The sense that wanting to serve is the same as consenting to be swallowed.

    The story lost me a bit at the end, with the twin continuities. I want to go back and reread that bit, see if I can make a bit more sense of it. Or maybe I can’t, and that’s meant to be the point.

    Make what I will of the ending, though, this is a vivid portrayal.

  2. So… If I’m reading this right, the two continuities are:
    1. The narrator is reduced to an invalid husk in a military hospital.
    2. The narrator is reduced to an incredible bomb, shuttled around and "detonated" over and over.

    The ending of the story seems to be firmly rooted in the first continuity, at the hospital.

    I do wonder, though, if the ending is ambiguous. The story starts with the narrator saying she has the power to blink herself elsewhere. It ends hinting at immense power that’s the narrator’s, albeit not under their control. When the story says "toward a reality assumed to be unreachable simply because there wasn’t thought to be enough desperation in our world to fuel a jump," does the narrator now have enough fuel?

    I don’t *think* I’m meant to read this as anything other than suicide. But it does have a very strong effect of the suicide being a moment of empowerment and glory.

  3. Content notes: warfare and combat injuries described in detail, medical abuse specifically directed at a disabled person, oppressive political regimes, detailed discussion of suicide.

Leave a Reply