Excerpt from Chapter 10: A place where there are no stars
“Think of the biggest-ever room you can imagine,” she had said to him in her innocent, tantalising way. “And then think about the space outside that biggest-ever room.”
“∞ + 1,” Merlin taunted him with its digital dots, configured to needle him just so.
“How can mankind ever hope to rationalise and reconcile the biggest-ever and the smallest-ever, Alice?” He had despaired, pulling at his hair so that he looked like an angry, golden Mohican. She, the creator of Merlin, knew the answer, of course. It was in that damn book of hers.
“Because they are the same, silly!”
Oh, the blerrie English! How he hated their voices, the words they used! And he discovered, there was nothing worse than Oxford English. For instance, how can a person from Scotland go UP to Oxford? Didn’t they know their own geography, or the basic concept of up, down?
But unwittingly, he recalled the words of his Oupa from long ago:
If we were to turn the universe upside down, these stars would become grains of sand beneath our feet.