Argo is a short story by the artists/author Rick Griffin, and by any means it is a thinking story. It raises important, if not interesting, questions about consciousness, artificial intelligence, and dreaming. Does it answer them all? Hardly. In fact, I daresay Argo raises more questions than it answers. I suppose in a longer work, the questions raised about 'living' and self-purpose could be answered, but only somewhat. In a broader sense, any answer would only come off as half contrived and merely plot relevant. But because this is a short story, much of it is left ambiguous.
But this is okay. This is a thinking story, and you don't do much thinking if the all the answers are in the back of the book.
I want to give a small synopsis, I really do. But beyond merely giving you the names of all the characters and descriptions, I fear that I can’t, in good humor, say much more. In the short amount of time, Rick Griffin has a quick, yet meticulous sense of pacing that makes it difficult to talk about without revealing a key plot element, or a spoiler, if you will.
I can say with some certainty that it has been much too long since the last time I've truly been floored by a piece of writing. Not in the mere sense of being a well written work, which Argo certainly is, but in the sense of a true, honest plot twist. And at that, Argo has a plot twist that is very well thought out and created, and neither a "Dues ex machina" nor an egotistical manipulation of the plot. The answers are nearly there from the beginning and is revealed in a single, defining moment.
I can also say this much about the characters. They’re well versed and seem to resonate separate parts of us. The main character, Mira, is the deep thinker of all of us, staying up way past our bedtime to ponder the things that seem just out of our grasp. Lily, Mira’s ani-droid (distinct difference), is the meekness inside of us that wants to understand, but knows that such questioning is a bit arbitrary, and perhaps pointless from day to day living. And on the other hand, there’s the ani-droid Eo, who ceaseless questions and eagerness is the child inside of us all.
The final character, however, is truly one to behold. Again, I can't say much. I can only say that this character is awesome in the true awe-inspiring sense. She is a character to be feared, if not for her characterization, but for what she represents, which is the Truth.
And that’s what gives this story that magical touch. It will make you think and question, which is something rare even in commercial writing, and something that I wish to emulate in my own writing.
In fact, it will have you checking your wrist for a bit.