I'm quite fond of this cover design, and the quotations below:
The role of a story was, in broadest terms, to transpose a single problem, into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell. That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Time itself was uniform in composition, but once consumed, it took on a deformed shape. [...] by adjusting time this way to suit their own purposes, people probably adjusted the meaning of their existences. In other words, by adding such operations to time, they were able - but just barely - to preserve their own sanity.
That's what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories