Review of The Nine Billion Names Of God by Carter Scholz

January 13, 2005
Filed under: Reviews 

Agony Column - The Nine Billion Names of GodThe Nine Billion Names Of God
By Carter Scholz; Read by Carter Scholz
RealAudio Download LINK
13 Minutes 40 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: The Agony Column
Published: 2003
Themes: / Science Fiction / Metafiction / Plagarism /

Rick Kleffel’s “Agony Column”(http://trashotron.com/agony/) is the source for this unabridged reading of author Carter Scholz dadistic tale of a science fiction publishing. Sholz’s “The Nine Billion Names of God” is a truly odd experimental meta-science-fiction short story about an author named “Carter Sholz” who has submitted a word for word copy of Arthur C. Clarke’s famous short story to the editor of Novus Science Fiction Magazine in hopes of publication. This story – of that story – recounts the epistolary letters between the unbelieving editor, who of course rejects the story, and the obtuse author who insists that that although his story may be identical in every way to Clarke’s, it is, in fact, distinct. Subsequent revisions and resubmissions of the exact same story – letter unchanged – by Scholz makes for an amusing jape. Though to laugh it off as all merely a joke would be to ignore the quasi-profound ending – which itself parallels Clarke’s eponymous tale. By the way, it is not nearly as confusing as it sounds. Carter Scholz, though not a professional narrator, reads his story with aptitude. One must wonder however given his predilection for embellishment who exactly is reading the story….?

Posted by Jesse Willis

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