Despite exceptional writing throughout, the stories are hit or miss; some result in papercuts from over-eagerly flipping the page while others require multiple sittings to get through. One example of the former is “The Second Doctor Service,” which follows the narrator as he experiences seizures and a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde-style dual personality. The line “I am not myself” sends a chill down the reader’s spine, as does the increasing frequency of these attacks. Other stories, like “The Miraculous Discovery of Psammetichus I,” is only memorable in how it references Herodotus, a work that invariably reminds me of The English Patient. Others fall in the middle: in parts entertaining and in others not.
Ultimately, A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth is an exploration of the boundaries to human capability. From new scientific breakthroughs to geographic discoveries, each story asks the reader to be innovative and challenge the status quo. Mason shares nine journeys of success and failure, prompting the reader to begin theirs.