Last night I watched the film Sunshine. A crew of astronauts must fly their "payload" of a nuclear bomb and launch it into a dying sun in order to save the earth. They are protected as they travel ever closer to the sun by a massive array of moveable shields. The film is visually stunning, and the sun is as much a character as the people.
As the plot unfolds, the unfortunate crew are faced with one existential conundrum after another, and the tension heightens to an almost unbearable level. Some strange turns of events lead via a somewhat confusing penultimate action sequence to a powerful conclusion.
In the week in which we had the Transit of Venus, it was with a feeling of synchronicity that I watched the scene where the Sunshine crew view Mercury transiting the sun.
I felt quite distraught after watching Sunshine. Despite its beauty, it is quite horrific in parts and not for the faint hearted, which would include myself, in fact my level of susceptibility to participation mystique is often painfully high.
The fact that I'm currently reading Iain M.Banks' Excession probably didn't help the fear factor. I've been pondering that perfect and mysterious black sphere loitering with intent near the brown dwarf star Esperi for days now - and nobody does vast like Banks. Later, I slept fitfully and had wierd and troubling dreams....