Suzuki Koji has mentioned in past interviews that while he was writing ‘Ring’ he didn’t know where the story was going or how it was going to end. I don’t know if he has the same method of writing with his other works but I certainly got that feeling with ‘Promenade of the Gods’ and here too do I get the feeling that it might have been the case. While it doesn’t fall flat on it’s face like ‘Promenade of the Gods’ it does have an ending where the main character is able to solve ‘Edge’s mysteries due to the discovery of a third nipple.
I admire the passion at which Suzuki writes about this stuff. He throws tons of scientific theories at us from the creation of the universe to quantum theory to mathematical equations and historical disappearances of civilizations. It’s heavy going at times but if you have any interest at all in history, the world and science then this is an interesting read, but not entirely as fun as I hoped. He does go to great lengths to explain things in detail and there’s even a bibliography at the back of the book that has everything he is referencing. I did find a lot of the stuff interesting, in particular Wave functions ability to collapse through Human’s perception of them.
If Star Trek 09 is at one end of the spectrum of science making sense (in that it explains nothing) then Edge is at the opposite end. In fact reading ‘Edge’ explains Star Trek 09 better!
In some ways ‘Edge’ resembles another book of his, ‘Loop’, but ‘Edge’ gets bogged down with characters having long discussions that introduce more and more theories. You get the feeling half way through that you’re being set up for disappointment as you can’t possibly write an ending that will satisfy everything brought up in the book. In a way then it kind of loses focus but in some respects the ending brings us right back to the heart of the story.
Story similarities aside, there are other things that link this with ‘Loop’ and the ‘Ring’ World. Character’s get a citrus/lemon smell before they disappear. Much like we read in Ring where some characters got a similar smell before their death or before having an uneasy feeling of a future event. The connections to ‘Loop’ seem to be that both our main character Sae in ‘Edge’ and Kaoru in ‘Loop’ get the sense that they are being watched by the sky above. There is also a mention of an underground military facility in Arizona which has hundreds super computers linked together. Arizona is located right next to New Mexico and for those who read ‘Loop’ you’ll remember that this story also featured a similar underground facility in New Mexico with computers linked together. The proposed cover design for this by Peter Mendelsund also matched the design of the covers for the Ring books by Chip Kidd. But now the cover has been changed to something less eye grabbing.
I still think Suzuki’s best work is when he writes Horror/SF I hope Vertical decides to translate and publish Suzuki’s newest Novel ‘S’ which is a return to the world of Sadako!