The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North
Claire North's novels often feature characters with esoteric, non-obvious supernatural powers/conditions. Reliving your life again and again in a time loop while retaining your cumulative memories, being a body swapping ghost, and being forgotten as soon as you leave someone's line of sight.
This story features a foppish doctor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, William Abbey, who is cursed by a grieving South African mother after he stands by and watches the lynching of her son. This act compels the son's ghost to pursue him as a shadow that shambles after him anywhere he goes, including over oceans
If the ghost touches him, it teleports to whomever he loves most, wherever they are in the world, and stops their heart. Then it shambles back to him to do it again to the next person he loves.
And as the ghost gets closer, it allows him to know the truth of people's hearts. When it gets too close, he's unable to stop himself from blurting out a litany of truths of anyone nearby.
This gets the attention of the British government. Things do not go well.
The unreliable narrative tells a dual tale of William's conscription as a concert-of-nations era spy and a later time with a Nun who listens to his story in a front line hospital of the Great War's (WWI) western front.
Peter Kenny again does a fantastic job with the audio reading, especially the motor-mouthed desperation of his compulsion to tell the truth as his pursuing ghost gets nearer.
A fascinating yarn.
CGP Grey and Kurzgesagt Big Numbers Videos on Youtube
Youtube creators often put out lots of longer content at the end of the year for monetization reasons. These two channels really did something interesting with big numbers.
CGP Grey did a Rock, Paper, Scissors video that ended up being a choose your own adventure of probability. I initially just played through it once, because I thought that I'd be cheating if I just clicked through everything.
Then I heard him talking about it on the Cortex podcast and I learned that you're supposed to click through all of them.
What follows was a vast journey through the varying iterations of "anti-luck" of constantly losing and the ultimate good luck of winning so much after 25 rounds that the odds are in the trillions. And what that actually means if you truly need one person in a trillion to win.
It soon delves into heavy existential territory.
Kurzgesagt takes a different aspect of large numbers. Its "All of History- 4.5 Billion Years in 1 Hour" video starts right after Theia collided with the Earth to both enlarge the molten early Earth and create the moon.
Each second equals about 1.25 million years. The earth is a molten hellscape for about 10-15 minutes, showing the vast length of the largely unknowable Hadean period.
It takes even more time for multicellular life to show up. And multiple extinctions occur in the blink of an eye. Primates literally show up in the last second.
It's probably the best demonstration of the scale of geological time versus the relative snap of the finger on which biological life operates.
Plus, it has some really chill music throughout.
Check both videos out.