111. JACK LONDON: I would rather be ashes than dust
Jack London (1876-1916) was an American writer best known for his short stories and magazine fiction. This quote was London’s life ‘credo’ as retold by his literary executor in an introduction to one of London’s book collections. There are disputes as to whether these are London’s own words or embellishment by the executor. I haven’t read any of London’s work, can anyone recommend his best fiction?
I thought of an unbelievable story for this comic: An alien randomly finds a magical object that gives him incredible powers. He seems to be made from the very universe itself! He’s capable of amazing feats and can fly all over the galaxy at warp speed. Imagine all the fun he’s going to have – imagine the great adventures, the great triumphs and great love he will experience. But there’s a catch. He knows the power only lasts for a limited amount of time – once that magic timer expires, that’s it … BOOM! So knowing this, the lucky alien realises he better make the most of his precious time.
But what about this unbelievable story? YOU are randomly born into this beautiful world. YOU are made from the very universe itself, from stars that exploded billions of years ago. YOU are capable of amazing physical and mental feats. YOU can fly anywhere in the world on aircraft that are travelling at near-supersonic speed. Imagine all the fun you could possibly have – imagine the great adventures, the great triumphs and great love you can experience. But there’s a catch … in fact, there’s a double catch. Not only are you alive for only a limited time, but you don’t even know when your time is going to run out! It could be 50 years from now or it could be tomorrow. So knowing this … how are you going to use your time?
Thanks to Alastor, Marika, Sara, Antonio and Robert for submitting this quote.