Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Matrix”

Verily, Verily, Verisimilitude

The Matrix Online

The Matrix Online (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What is real?”

Isn’t that the big question asked in The Matrix?

We live in the real, yet we crave for an escape, hence literature and film and video games.  Yet, as much as we push the boundaries of “What is real” and explore space, time periods, new worlds, ways to expand our minds, change our bodies, there still needs to be verisimilitude.


noun \-sə-ˈmi-lə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\


: the quality or state of being verisimilar
: something verisimilar
veri·si·mil·i·tu·di·nous \-ˌmi-lə-ˈtüd-nəs, -ˈtyüd-; -ˈtü-də-nəs, -ˈtyü-\adjective


<the novel’s degree of verisimilitude is compromised by 18th-century characters who speak in very 21st-century English>

And there it is–like Neo, there is the invincibility that comes from stretching the dream world, and the knowledge of being tethered into reality.

For instance, I can believe a girl from Kansas can get whirled up into tornado and be dropped in a magical land of talking scarecrows, populated by little people, witches (both good and bad), flying monkeys, and horses of a different color. Nevertheless, I’d be hard pressed to believe she goes back to Kansas in a rocket ship or sprouts wings to fly there herself.  There must be real enough with our unreal.

Recently I completed a triology, where the story is set after the modern world has ended due to a pandemic virus. The world that is rebuilt is based on medieval times, complete with castles, warriors, limited technical knowledge. There is also the aspect of the people discovering the religion of their ancestors, which lends a blending of past, present, and future. I hung with the entire series, barely so at times because of one annoying problem: verisimiliutde slippage.

There we would be, the hero and heroine recointering after a tremoundous battle and after some appropriate,  credible medivialistic setting, into the dialogue would pop out, “Wow, those guys were tough.” Poof, verily, verily, the magic bubble popped. I couldn’t wrap my mind the modern vernacular.  I’m not looking for “forsooths and thous”, only credibility.

Anyone else have a book or even a film that tweaked their need for verisimilitude?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: