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2014 Story 27

From one story magazine, issue 184 (September 30, 2013):

27. REMEM by Amy Brill   I have a small pile of issues of one story that I haven't read yet, and Amy Brill's issue was at the top of the pile. I really wasn't expecting a science fiction story -- one story and its sister mag one teen story tend to stick pretty solidly in the literary camp -- but I am very glad I picked this one up.  The sf elements are light touches, world-building details that inform the main character's actions and his daughter's personality, but the focus of the story is on the emotional, internal battle.  In recent years I've come to struggle with a lot of "literary" short fiction -- the types of stories which are all about internalization and in which very little happens outside of the character's mind. There's a time for introspection and those types of stories have their place. But I burn out on them easily.  Thankfully, Brill's story is not one of those. Something, several somethings in fact, happen in our main character's present that link to his past. A story about cloud-storage of human memories (and the hardware storage that preceded it) so that anyone can access those memories at any time could have been so much navel-gazing, but Brill imbues the story with an immediacy and a nostaglia that counterpoint each other wonderfully.  I didn't question the science because I believed the main character's struggle with the science.  I do think this one should be looked at by folks who edit "Year's Best SF stories" even though it hasn't been published in a traditional SF short fiction venue.

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