Wired, September 22, 2020

Wired, September 22, 2020

“Loose Ends” by Tom Comitta

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

It would be more accurate to call Tom Comitta the assembler rather than the author of “Loose Ends.” The work consists of 137 last lines from science fiction and fantasy books, put together in an attempt to create a narrative. At times, the lines seem to go together reasonably well. For example, early in the piece, “But I can’t speak Swedish,” I said is followed by “You’ll learn, he said.” This makes perfect sense on its own, but doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the work. At other times, a line seems purely random. (As an example, How the Family Ghost must have laughed comes across as a complete non sequitur.)

As you would expect, there isn’t really a plot to summarize. Given the origins of these lines, it’s not surprising that the story, if we can call it that, has something to do with several characters and space travel. Other than that vague description, it’s impossible to say what is supposedly going on.

Rather than reading this as fiction, it would be better to look at it as a trivia test. Fans of science fiction and fantasy should enjoy trying to identify which books served as the source of the lines.

Victoria Silverwolf didn’t recognize as many of these lines as she should have.