At the heart of every galaxy is a black hole and at the heart of every black hole is a paradox; a point of infinite tininess and infinite gravity. They call it a singularity.
A handsome, white-haired academic makes infinity signs proliferate across his blackboard. Another reminds me that the universe itself came out of a singularity. The tricksy lighting and clips from old films weren’t really needed (though Sam West did a fine job of the narration; you don’t notice the voice or its personality, only what it is saying), the story told on last night’s Horizon was gripping enough without them.
Maybe I was primed to be gripped. I’ve just finished reading Jeanette Winterson‘s The Stone Gods, which features (amongst other things) a radio telescope, planets – and black holes. I loved it. The word that came to mind when I tried to describe it was “romp”, a strange thing to say about a book that is part tragic love story, part personal political manifesto, part anti-war protest, but a romp it is. The writing has such brio, and the thing is shot through with the delight of a mind that says, Look, look what I can do in this world I made. I didn’t want it to end. Or rather, I wanted it to keep on ending, over and over into infinity.
I would love to know if the author had ever seen Battlestar Galactica (“All of this has happened before…”)