A Fool's Errand is an Alistair Murphy novel partly designed as a literary accompaniment to his 2023 studio album, Living Space (as The Curator).
A picaresque adventure of an idealistic young man, now grown jaded and old, looking back on his life; trying to make sense of himself, the world he inhabits, and the other worlds that lie beyond in the heavens, spinning through time, space and eternity, to which he dreams of visiting and visits in his dreams. The fables of the Hawker, the Astronomer, Senator, Stockman and Soldier; Boat-Builder, and Advocate, Lounger, and Hermit, unfold, abrade, conflict and collide to provide amusement and understanding as the old man grapples with comprehension of his own futile earthly life in a senseless, uncaring universe; aided and abetted by his unforgettable guide, Earth-Beater, (which, like the book itself, is not an easy ride for it is both ship of the desert and vehicle to the stars. The old man identifies a key moment in his life, which occurred as a child, many moons ago, perhaps in 1969... he projects this significant instant into another time, another past and another world, where he is further enlightened by an encounter with the female spirit of another world. Sci-fi novel; discussion on the meaning of life; flight of fancy; religious examination; magi-like quest, philosophical tract or merely an entertaining diversion from the ennui of the everyday? Let the reader be the judge - the goal, the object, the inner core of the novel open to the subjective interpretation of those who care to turn its pages.