Thursday, March 9, 2017

Real Ghosts, by J.B. Park

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(Near-Future SF) At the end of his life, Maury Hong considers making an “image” of himself so his friends and relatives can still talk to him after he’s gone. (3,696 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 126, published on .

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

Pro: It’s amusing that Maurice has already created an image so he doesn’t have to bother to talk with his troublesome relatives. The only “people” pressing Maury to make an image are other images.

Con: Maury makes up his mind to do it (we think), but that’s the only actual action in the entire story. Maury isn’t a very nice guy, so it’s not clear that he’s doing the world any favors this way, and there’s no emotional engagement either way. The whole thing has the feeling of being pointless--is anyone really going to want to talk to this image he's creating?

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. What this made me think of was people taking happy, cheerful, posed photos which then go on social media to give everyone involved happy, cheerful, and possibly inaccurate memories. This story is an extrapolation from people's desire to create perfect memories for the future, and I found it very effective.

  2. I thought the interactions between the siblings were well done.

    1. Yeah, that's true. Even if it was only their images, it was probably the strongest part of the story.