‘Two Degrees of Freedom’ by Simon Okotie

Simon Okotie is best known for his ‘Absolon’ novel trilogy, but his contribution to the admirable Nightjar series found me unprepared and left me deeply impressed, mainly by its reliance throughout on the mathematical terminology of geometry to describe a man’s exploration of the space of his entombment.

It’s Beckett’s All Strange Away restated in such abstract terms that it raises the level of claustrophobia beyond even Beckett’s imagining. Rereading it for this anthology impressed and terrified me even more than my first reading.

First published as Two Degrees of Freedom, Nightjar Press, 2021