The Egg by Andy Weir

Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine.

The above quote is taken from The Egg, a viral short story written by Andy Weir of The Martian, fame that I apparently missed back in 2012. It discusses philosophical and existential questions about death, god, time, and the meaning of life. It’s impressive for its incredible brevity (you can read the entire story in less than three minutes), but the ideas posited in the story stayed with me for much longer, gaining weight and presence in my mind the more I thought about them.

The style Weir uses in The Egg is unusual for the topics it addresses, but it seemed intentional, as if to remind us that our experiences and our views are unique, and that everyone is “right in their own way.” The God in the story is almost jarringly casual, and very human. While far-fetched in the beginning, the story works its way into you, clamoring for more and more attention. In an objective light, Weir’s portrayal of the universe makes sense.

The Egg has been adapted into dozens of short films. My favorite is one directed, written, and produced by then York undergraduate Sam Meacock for the Royal Television Society.

Try the short story, or maybe one of the short film versions if you are a more audiovisual person, and compare Weir’s outlook on life to your own. How do they compare? Perhaps you may feel inspired to write your own story about what happens after we die.

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