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The Monster's Million Faces

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The mind has an amazing ability to heal itself, especially given the newest therapies, but Aaron's mind just won't cooperate. And neither will… he.
ebook, 32 pages
Published September 2010 by
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Feb 01, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
Trauma wears a million faces...
Monster facev2

Fans of speculative short fiction, if you've not yet sampled Rachel Swirsky, than I urge you rectify that oversight...pronto. I've now read three of her pieces (Eros, Philia, Agape, A Memory of Wind and this one), and they are, without exception, gorgeously written, evocative and thought-provoking. Throw in that all of them are available for FREE at, and you have no excuse not to give her a try.

This latest gem, which you can read here, is trim (appro
Richard Derus
May 25, 2012 Richard Derus rated it liked it
Rating: 3* of five

In a future time, perdaughterkind is able to heal your emotional wounds by making new memories that, like all memories, are not "real" (an unhelpful construct when it comes to memory anyway) but feel real to the healed. This is done to begin healing from traumas inflicted in the course of being alive. Then, as one would expect, it's down to therapy to integrate the new memories into the patient's worldview and begin to make life work better for them.

Of course, the abuser is a m
May 26, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Prashant by: Stephen
Shelves: e-book
First thing first, read this story


Traumatic... I was thinking about The One who walk away from omelas the whole time. The kid, confused, battered and sitting in his own filth.

The desire to live leaves us for many reasons. But it's the biggest tragedy if it is because of someone who doesn't care about us.

Maybe that is why part of being grown up involves becoming indifferent to most part of your surroundings. It's your voice that should echo the most in your mind.

Being rational human beings, it
This short story is available at, here. I didn't like it as much as The Memory of Wind; Rachel Swirsky's writing is as effective, here -- more to the point, perhaps, sharper, somehow -- but it didn't sink its hooks into me. Perhaps because I didn't let it, because I've had therapy, and it is hard, and this situation just seemed... too easy. Even though it takes so many tries for him to get something that worked, it still seemed too easy. Perhaps if there had been more doubt, more emptine ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
This may be an extremely short story but it packs more punch than most long fiction I have read lately. I would love Swirsky to take the idea in the story further and write something more involved and detailed.
Feb 21, 2013 Kimikimi added it
Shelves: tor-com
Another short story

I don't really think I'm qualified to talk about this one. Not that I've lived with this level of trauma, but it felt real and I did connect with it.
Well written and emotional short.

Link here:
M Sabet
Jul 12, 2013 M Sabet rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff
شخصیت اول داستان وقتی بچه بوده، توسط یه بابایی دزدیده میشه و بهله بهله میشه. حالا بزرگ شده، و زیر دست یه روانپزشک داره برای درمان اثرات این اتفاق تلاش میکنه تا راهی برای ترمیمش پیدا کنن. در طی روند درمانی هی اون بابا رو در شرایط مختلف تصور میکنه و باهاش روبرو میشه
مشکل داستان اینه که اصولاً مشکلی توش نیست. ما در قهرمانمون پای اون ماجرا معضلی نمیبینیم واقعاً. یه خاطرهای از برخورد با رئیسش تعریف میکنه، منتهی اون که معضل نشد، ربطی هم به خاطرهی کودکی قهرمان نداره. والا اگه منم یه رئیس زن داشتم که میخ
May 25, 2012 Tabitha rated it really liked it
Wow. Yeh that's it. End of review.
No of course not.. Earlier this afternoon I read a review of this story and a little while later I came across a link to it on the Tor website.
I figured it was an interesting premise and I could do with a new short story in my life.
This is beautifully written, and completely gripping. Rachel Swirsky immediately gets her hooks into you and doesn't let go. Not even after you've finished reading. I can't stop thinking about t
Adam Shaeffer
Nov 03, 2011 Adam Shaeffer rated it it was amazing
Painful and dark, but with hope and healing at the end.
John Egbert
May 25, 2012 John Egbert rated it really liked it
Wow. Short, but good.
Sidsel Pedersen
It is amazing what you can do with less than 3000 words. This story was very strong. It has me a bit shaken now.

Read my full review here:
Francisco Tello
Francisco Tello rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2015
Elizabeth rated it liked it
May 16, 2012
Hilary rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2013
sasa rated it it was ok
Mar 07, 2015
Claire rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2012
Lejla Talić
Lejla Talić rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2016
Rubie Memos
Rubie Memos rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2013
Ana Hopkins
Ana Hopkins rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2012
Jacob rated it did not like it
Jan 07, 2016
Satu rated it it was ok
May 06, 2014
Ant rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2013
Mesh rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2012
Jon Wulfekotter
Jon Wulfekotter rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2014
John Devenny
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Jul 23, 2016
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May 06, 2014
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May 23, 2015
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Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and is a graduate of Clarion West. Her work has been short-listed for the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Sturgeon Award, and placed second in 2010's Million Writers Award. In addition to numerous publications in magazines and anthologies, Swirsky is the author of three short stories published as e-books, "Eros, Philia, Agape," "The Memory of Wi ...more
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