Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Memento Mori, by Madeline Ashby

"Meeting Infinity" by Dominic Harman
(SF) Anika has a happy life in a world where people switch to new bodies when they get tired of the old ones. But someone is stalking her--maybe from her past, which she can't remember. (6,600 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★★★★☆, Recommended

"Memento Mori," by , was published on

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Anika starts the story looking down her nose at someone who wants to erase his past.  Then we learn that she erased her own. Right off the bat we wonder if she'll want to know what happened. Then someone from her past stalks her. Eventually kills her, then kidnaps the resurrected Anika. Finally she decides she wants to reconnect with her past. Fini.

This all dovetails with the story of how her relationship with Horst disintegrates. The closer she gets to her past, the more her present falls apart.

Hort makes fun of her job, but we're not entirely surprised to learn that she created the business in the first place. When John Smith told her that her earlier versions had hired him, we should have asked "what for?" And "why would she have three blind revisions?" The climax nicely answers all these questions.

Best of all, her choice at the end to study her past--starting with her friend Jesse--really does represent a break from the pattern of her older selves. She really is good enough to carry on--even by the standards of her earlier selves.

Little touches keep reminding us how different this world is. The diamonds Horst installed in Anika's arms and described as elegant "as he cleaned the blood away."

Con: There's no emotion in the piece. We don't feel anything for Anika or Jesse.

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)