Strange Horizons, June 18, 2012

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altStrange Horizons, June 18, 2012

“Elsewhere” by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Reviewed by John Sulyok

Benjamin Rosenbaum‘s “Elsewhere” should be prefaced with the warning: The audience is encouraged to acquire, at the least, an undergraduate degree in mathematics and/or physics before reading further.

Lacking such credentials, I was forced to read “Elsewhere” twice. The second time slowly and out loud.

This method helped to untangle the dense underbrush of scientific phraseology, which obscures any chance for a leisurely reading by a layman. Through the thicket lay the story of two characters — embodiments conceptualizing Space and Time — and their attempt to converse. Their challenge lying in their seemingly incompatible perceptions, and therefore languages, of reality.

The story is quaint and ultimately resorts to a typical happy ending. The biggest problem, however, is the aforesaid style and how the story begins. Short as it is, some trimming could have eliminated some of the confusion, because as it stands “Elsewhere” is just shy of a recommendation.