3 out of 4 stars
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“We know that our universe has stable and consistent parameters that it functions under. Yet, at the very birth of our universe, those parameters appear to be absent.” – Zarqnon the Embarrassed
Of Zots & Xoodles: Theodil Creates a Universe by Zarqnon the Embarrassed is a book that delves into the creation of the universe. It is conceptualised by Zarqnon the Embarrassed and illustrated by Frank Louis Allen. Though the real name of the author is JW McLaughlin, he preferred to choose another name – Zarqnon as the nomenclature for the authorship of this book because it amuses him, and it is unique.
Did anything exist before the universe existed? What happened after the creation of such an ambitious anomaly? The illustration starts with some of the author’s random thoughts about a character – Theodil. Theodil appears before a committee (I like to think it is an “invincible” audience) to present his unique imagination of creation with nothing but zero parameter - “Zots”. Through aggregation and agitation, other parameters including time, light, and gravity, are developed. The congregation grows increasingly agitated, criticizing and second-guessing Theodil’s every step.
According to the author, the universe is initially a dice, then it transforms into a noodle-like Xoodles, and a particle of light forms at the tangent. These Xoodles dangle and tangle; and on brief occasions, they collide. These collisions further create beautiful spark and domain, a realm within realms. As they rend and tether, the splatter and splinter Xoodles encourage it to return to its initial Zots dot-like design. However, they can never go back to Zots as Theodil gathers the fragments and all the splinters and cauterize and coagulate them into a new and improved super-duper Xoodles. Over and over, Theodil repeats the process – taking Zots, stacking them, and stretching them into Xoodles. The Xoodles continue to collide, coagulate, contort, congregate, and jellify into super-Xoodles. Can infinity exist without time? Even infinity has boundaries in which it functions and thrives. Will Theodil convince the audience of his ability to create a stable universe?
This book is an exploratory thought into various dynamics that may have contributed to the rendering of the universe. “Of Zots and Xoodles” attempts to simplify complex hypothetical theories. For such a short book, it is quite heavy on the science side of things, especially the physics of matter.
It is the strangest but unique book I have ever read. It is difficult to say what I dislike about the book but to be honest, the level of physics portrayed in this book is a grey area to me even as a scientist. I think what I like most is the uniqueness of the author and illustrator. They are both on the autistic spectrum, and the illustrator is blind. The book is well-written and excellently edited. I did not detect any typographical or grammatical error that is worth mentioning. It is challenging at first to follow the author’s thought. Despite the professionalism in the editing, the author’s style of writing is not easily accessible by a layman. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This book is not for the faint of heart or people who lack concentration. The sentences dance and twist; if one is not careful, the plot will slip away. This book will appeal to someone with a physics background. If you like weird, sceptics, strange, odd and wonderfully amusing stories, you should read this book. I recommend this book to anyone interested in physics and the universe.
Of Zots and Xoodles
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