Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sliders: When The Lights Go Out...
When Patrick Huyghe of Anomalist Books recently mailed me a copy of their latest release, Hilary Evans' Sliders: The Enigma of Streetlight Interference, I thought to myself: well, this is all very interesting. But a full-length book on people who seemingly have the ability to affect streetlights as they walk under, or near, them?
Surely, such a subject-matter would be far more suitable for a 10- or 20-page-long paper, not a 192-page book, right? Wrong!
Anomalist Books have carved for themselves a first-class niche in the field of publishing thought-provoking and near-unique titles on anomalies of the mind, the physical world, and those strange realms beyond. And, Sliders is a great addition to A.B.'s ever-expanding list of titles.
So, with that said, onto the book itself. Essentially, as I alluded to in my opening paragraph, Sliders are those people who appear to possess a truly uncanny skill: they can turn off, or turn on, streetlights when they are in their near-vicinity. Sometimes, it seems, this is entirely at random, and on other occasions, there is evidence that the phenomenon - or perhaps skill would be a better term - can be controlled, at least to some degree.
And, to prove his point, Evans provides his readers with numerous accounts - from equally numerous walks of life and backgrounds - of people who are possessed of this curious talent. Clearly, as the author shows, this is a worldwide phenomenon, rather than one solely limited to one locale or one particular person.
The book covers some fascinating areas, and raises important issues and questions in the process: does age play a role in the abilities of the Sliders? Is this something that is prevalent throughout certain families (the answer to this question is: very possibly, yes)? How does the state-of-mind of the Slider play a role in the experience? And: can mainstream science, or alternative science, answer the riddle once and for all, and in all its entirety?
Then there is the spin-off phenomenon that sees some Sliders having the skills to affect checkouts and cash-registers, computers, elevators, traffic-lights, and much more.
Electric girls (I always wanted one of them!) psychokinesis, ball-lightning and much more all come into play in the domain of a phenomenon that is as poorly-understood as it is fantastic and, potentially - if it can be successfully harnessed on a regular basis - world-changing, and perhaps not always in a good way, too.
Of course, a subject-matter like this could become incredibly technical and mind-numbing in nature. Fortunately, however, Evans writes in an informative, enjoyable and, at times, humorous fashion that makes Sliders as entertaining as it is fascinating.
If you're interested in, or captivated by, the mysterious powers of both mind and body, then Sliders is most certainly for you.
Definitely not a book you'll be "turned off" by! Terrible pun, I know...