I'm trying to find just the right word to describe these stories. Science fables isn't quite right - there isn't a moral at the end of each one. I'm torn between science myths and science legends. I think I'm leaning towards myths, in the sense of "stories that tell how something came to be." Let's go with that.
The Complete Cosmicomics
is a collection, then, of science myths. Most stories are prefaced with
a little paragraph of science, talking about some aspect of the world
and its creation, and then a story of how it happened, mostly to a
narrator named Qfwfq, who has been around since the beginning, although
the stories keep changing.
They aren't grand stories, which I
guess is why I was reticent to call these myths. They are down-to-earth
(sometimes even inside it) and wide-reaching (galaxy-spanning, even.)
The characters in them have the brief outlines of people as we know
them, even when they're camels. Or particles. Or amoeba. And as any part
of creation, they follow familiar human patterns. They fall in love.
They're jealous. They're petty. They want to leave their mark on a world
only in the beginning stages of creation.
Many of the stories
revolve either wanting to state I WAS HERE to the universe, or to
attract a desirable woman. But in between, they tell the stories of life
evolving on earth, on a moon that was once part of Earth's body but was
torn away, of a cell deciding to split for the first time. The science
is woven through in quite a wonderful way, with the feel of a fairytale.
the middle though, they drift away from the way they've been fashioned
so far, and I never found those stories as interesting as the Qfwfq
ones. But then we end up back there, and I enjoyed them again.
stories are inventive and enchanting. I've never read anything quite
like this. And I'm all for the magic of science taking centre stage.