Bewildering Stories Discusses
Mark Bonica’s “Spiraling In” began in issue 546 and will conclude in issue 553.
I’m beginning to wonder if the chapter titles in “Spiraling In” don’t follow a mathematical formula, perhaps one that takes Year 820 — the year of the crash — as its zero point.
We know in advance that Penelope dies (ch. 8, Year 837).
Driscoll and Penelope get married a year earlier, in ch. 10 (Year 836).
Chs. 11 and 12 (Years 821 and 832, respectively) spiral out to flashbacks that show how difficult it was for them to arrive at the resolution in ch. 10.
Meanwhile, we know that Driscoll is rescued (chs. 2 and 4, both of which take place in Year 843).
In effect, “Spiraling In” is a series of overlapping backstories, all of which lead up to a grand resolution in ch. 13. And that revelation itself occurs in Year 825, some 18 years before the chronological “end.”
Likewise, on Robinson Crusoe’s island, time is not the same as elsewhere. As long as Crusoe is alone or even with his companion Friday, everything happens in a kind of timeless realm. Readers will have to decide for themselves which is more important: what the characters do or when they do it.
Copyright © 2013 by Don Webb
for Bewildering Stories