Thursday, September 12, 2019

Erase, Erase, Erase, by Elizabeth Bear


(Surreal) A woman knows something about an upcoming terrorist attack, but she’s fading out of existence, parts are falling off, and she can’t quite remember enough details to report it anyway. (9,165 words; Time: 30m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"Erase, Erase, Erase," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.520 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Superficially, the nameless narrator struggles to find something to tie her to reality tightly enough that she can remember the name of the terrorist leader and the details of his plan so she can report it to the police. She has to fight her gradual fading out of existence, which seems to be caused by her refusal to confront her own unhappy memories.

Obviously the real story happens at a symbolic level. I suspect most of us have had experiences that were sufficiently unpleasant that we deal with memories of them by telling ourselves, “that was a long time ago; you’ll never see those people again; it doesn’t matter anymore.” In other words, we “erase” painful parts of our past. This character has done so to such a degree that she’s about to cease to exist.

She’s a writer, so, obviously, the thing that still connects her to reality is a pen. More than one pen, actually. But the thing that brings her back to solidity is confronting her past rather than trying to erase it.

Con: The reason I recommend against this story is that it just goes on and on and on. There’s a limit to how much I want to read about someone wallowing in self pity over her self-inflicted problems.

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