Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Best of Subterranean

Rate this book
From its launch in 2005 to its final issue in 2014, Subterranean magazine published stories by the leading lights of science fiction and fantasy literature. From Hugo and Nebula winners to Pulitzer and Booker Prize finalists to New York Times bestsellers, this anthology collects 30 pieces of Subterranean’s best, representing diverse, breathtaking short fiction from today’s modern masters.

In “Last Breath” Joe Hill spins the tale of a man who collects the breaths of the dying for his haunting museum. Catherynne M. Valente’s “White Lines on a Green Field” chronicles what might happen if Coyote became a small town high school quarterback. Karen Joy Fowler’s “Younger Women” finds a woman confronting her daughter’s new boyfriend, who happens to be a vampire. Visit the Twilight Zone via George R.R. Martin in the script “The Toys of Caliban”. In Ted Chiang’s “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” the narratives of a journalist and a young man are told in contrast, both impacted by technology and literacy. And in Kelley Armstrong’s “The Screams of Dragons” a boy is declared a changeling and things only get stranger from there. Other pieces visit far-flung space and intimate sick rooms, the futuristic pyramids of the rich and a jungle where a man-eating tiger stalks a village.

- Perfidia (2004) by Lewis Shiner
- Game (2012) by Maria Dahvana Headley
- The Last Log of the Lachrimosa (2014) by Alastair Reynolds
- The Seventeenth Kind (2007) by Michael Marshall Smith
- Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind (2007) by Rachel Swirsky
- The Pile (2008) by Michael Bishop
- The Bohemian Astrobleme (2010) by Kage Baker
- Tanglefoot (2008) by Cherie Priest
- Hide and Horns (2009) by Joe R. Lansdale
- Balfour and Meriwether in The Vampire of Kabul (2011) by Daniel Abraham
- Last Breath (2005) by Joe Hill
- Younger Women (2011) by Karen Joy Fowler
- White Lines on a Green Field (2011) by Catherynne M. Valente
- The Least of the Deathly Arts (2012) by Kat Howard
- Water Can't Be Nervous (2012) by Jonathan Carroll
- Valley of the Girls (2011) by Kelly Link
- Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill! (2012) by Hal Duncan
- Troublesolving (2009) by Tim Pratt
- The Indelible Dark (2013) by William Browning Spencer
- The Prayer of Ninety Cats (2013) by Caitlín R. Kiernan
- The Crane Method (2011) by Ian R. MacLeod
- The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn (2011) by Robert Silverberg
- The Toys of Caliban (script) (2005) by George R.R. Martin
- The Secret History of the Lost Colony (2008) by John Scalzi
- The Screams of Dragons (2014) by Kelley Armstrong
- The Dry Spell (2009) by James P. Blaylock
- He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes (2014) by Harlan Ellison
- A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong (2011) by K.J. Parker
- The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling (2013) by Ted Chiang
- A Long Walk Home (2011) by Jay Lake

747 pages, Hardcover

First published June 29, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

William Schafer

63 books5 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
374 (44%)
4 stars
311 (36%)
3 stars
131 (15%)
2 stars
18 (2%)
1 star
11 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 165 reviews
Profile Image for Candi.
608 reviews4,588 followers
January 19, 2018
This was a thought-provoking short story. It is categorized as science-fiction, but really just in the sense that one thread of the story plants the reader at a point in the future. A future where technology has become so pervasive that perhaps you don't need to learn or remember much of anything at all. Sound a bit frightening and perhaps not too far off-track?! This is most definitely a relevant topic in our digital age. A separate narrative takes the reader to a point in the not-too-distant past and examines the effect that the introduction of literacy has on a community. Both stories will challenge you to consider memory and truth and what effect the recording of such concepts have on individuals, close relationships, and society at large. What is in our nature that makes us inherently human, and are we willing to sacrifice this for the sake of technology? This story took a turn that I was not expecting, and forced me to re-think my beliefs all over again. Well worth the read if you utilize technology or the written word. Ahem - I'm looking at you, Goodreads friend!
Profile Image for Derek.
550 reviews92 followers
November 26, 2016
I used to think my memory was reliable. Then I tried to apologize to my younger brother for an act that had bothered me for decades. It probably wasn't actually the worst thing I ever did to him, and I was young enough that it should have been forgivable but still it had nagged at me. I would have been 6 or 7 and he was two years younger. In my memory, I broke the living room window. I convinced him to take the blame, because at his age he wouldn't get in any trouble. I was right; he didn't. But that hardly makes it right.  Anyway, in my thirties, I apologized. And Chris said, "but you didn't break that window. I did."

So, I totally get this story. But I'm not sure I can come to the same conclusion Chiang, or at least Chiang's narrator, comes to. Then again, I'm not sure I can't!

Yeah, memory it seems is a total fabrication, and in the case of the characters in this story it seems to have been a harmful fabrication, but they got over it. Sure, there are situations worse than theirs, where the harm is irreparable, but it seems to me that there will be at least as many situations where objectively knowing the "truth" is harmful.  As in the story of the Tiv, where one group of elders has one memory, the other a different one: one group is going to be harmed by the "facts", no matter what happens. Surely Sabe is right that coming to a consensus between themselves is a better solution.

Anyway, my brother's gone now, and I'm glad I had the chance to apologize: even if it's possible there was nothing to apologize for.
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
853 reviews443 followers
November 24, 2016
Truthful. Shocking. Philosophical. Did not expect it. I was actually quite skeptical about it up to The Twist (more than a half the story in). And then it just shocked me.

This short story will make you think about your own life and try to remember your own mistakes. Because it can all apply to you too. Nobody's exempt from this. And you never think about it. You don't even know what you might be hiding from yourself. Humans are very interesting, the way their personalities function. Is there ultimate truth? Does ultimate truth matter, in the long run? Do we always know who we really are? Or do we just pick what's convenient, or maybe just what enables us not to crumble and go on?

Other than the questions themselves, this piece is written well. I especially loved it how the author weaved the two stories together and how they reinforced the point. Very nicely done. Some great writing.

I can't remember who recommended this to me, but I know it was one of my Goodreads friends. Thank you, whoever it was!
Profile Image for Claudia.
947 reviews523 followers
December 27, 2019
Edit 27.12: Just noticed that GR merged the reviews between Chiang' short story, rated 5 and this collection, which I rated 3. But now, because of the merge, the collection has 5 stars rating instead of 3, which I will correct now, of course.

GR people, don't mess with our rating! If you must choose between ratings, choose the one for the collection, not for the short one, because this is your idea anyway, not ours! Therefore, keep it straight!


A brilliant story about truth, weaved from two parallel plans, one about memories (true vs fabricated), the other about words (written vs spoken). Again Chiang manages to produce a brilliant piece. Not at all a light reading but well worthy of your time.

It can be read here: https://subterraneanpress.com/magazin...

Merged review:

I thought this to be a collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories and it turned out that its tales are mostly from urban fantasy, horror and alternate reality. Some are stunning, some are ok, others did not appeal to me at all. However, for the above genre’s lovers I think it will be much more enjoyable than it was for me. I recommend it though because there is a wide variety of ideas and styles and it is impossible not to find something to please you. Even for the few I very much liked, I still think it was worthy of my time.

Some are to be found on publisher's site, if you'd like a glimpse on them the link is in the title and below are a few words of my impressions on each:

Perfidia by Lewis Shiner – an alternate history about the disappearance of jazz musician Glenn Miller. Part thriller, part mystery, fast paced. 3/5

Game by Maria Dahvana Headley – another speculative fiction, which is based on the killing of the men-eater Champawat Tigress by Jim Corbett. A story about regrets, redemption and the power of nature. 4/5

The Last Log of the Lachrimosa by Alastair Reynolds – a story in Revelation Space universe, both brilliant and chilling. An extended review here. 5/5

The Seventeenth Kind by Michael Marshall Smith – the story of a skilled salesman who's able to sell anything to anyone, aliens included, lol. Funny and nicely written. 3/5
Also, there is a short movie made after it and can be found here.

Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind by Rachel Swirsky – heart-wrenching apocalyptic story and a reminder that what we sow is what we reap. 5/5

The Pile by Michael Bishop – what the heck did I just read?! I can appreciate the love of a father for his son (this story was written based on author’ son notes) but I totally disliked the outcome. Really creepy and nonsensical stuff. 1/5

The Bohemian Astrobleme by Kage Baker - a steampunk story in which a team goes in pursuit of a rare stone with some particular properties. Unfortunately, it does not lead anywhere and at the end you ask yourself: ok... and? Great idea, not so great execution. 2/5

Tanglefoot by Cherie Priest – a steampunk-horror story about a boy and his friends, a sort of Chucky, a senile doctor and a (not so) crazy patient hospitalized in an institution. Might sound strange but it has a really touching approach on feelings about dementia. 4/5

Hide and Horns by Joe R. Lansdale – a funny-western-horror story (surprising combination) with an unusual gunslinger. The language – slang, more like it - is the strength of the story, churlish yet hilarious and savory. 4/5

Balfour and Meriwether in the Vampire of Kabul by Daniel Abraham – another steampunk story, featuring Balfour and Meriwether (a couple very much resembling Holmes and Watson), in which they are trying to decipher the mystery behind an evil spirit possessing the Emperor of Russia and Victoria, Queen of England and Empress of India… Unconvincing characters and too many clichés in the story. 2/5

Last Breath by Joe Hill – a couple with their child goes to a museum they thought to host an exhibit of science; instead they found out that it was of silence. Joe Hill does know how to write a creepy story. 4/5

Younger Women by Karen Joy Fowler – a paranormal/urban fantasy involving a vampire, his adolescent girlfriend and her mother. Nothing special about it. 2/5

White Lines on a Green Field by Catherynne M. Valente – something about a cheerleader, an American football player and their teenage friends. Skimmed through it, didn’t find anything on my taste. 1/5

The Least of the Deathly Arts by Kat Howard – a parable of love and death, enveloped in poetry; simply gorgeous. 5/5

Water Can’t be Nervous by Jonathan Carroll - a story about love, compromises and regrets. Nice, although I fail to see why was it included in this anthology – I didn’t find anything fantastic in it. 2/5

Valley of the Girls by Kelly Link – a mix between Egyptian mythology, a virtual reality (not quite sure about it though) in a consumerism society. Not in the least on my taste. 1/5

Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill! by Hal Duncan – a story with werewolves and vampires but nothing more to say about it. 2/5

Troublesolving by Tim Pratt – a mix between noir and time travel. Unfinished, from my PoV. 2/5

The Indelible Dark by William Browning Spencer – I have no idea what I just read... 1/5

The Prayer of Ninety Cats by Caitlín R. Kiernan – an alternate story about countess Elisabeta Bathory - Freddy Krueger was an angel compared to how she's depicted here. Horror at its best, as a story and also as writing style. 4/5

The Crane Method by Ian R. MacLeod – a story about a discovery and the curse around it. Pretty solid. 3/5

The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn by Robert Silverberg – another story about a discovery but seemed unfinished to me. Also, it could be a dictionary of invented terms, because I never encountered this many in a short story. If I gather all the invented terms from Sanderson's series, I don't think the number will match the one from here. 1/5

The Toys of Caliban (script) by George R.R. Martin – a story in Twilight Zone universe, about a child with an unusual gift (better said curse). A really, really creepy story, masterfully crafted. 5/5

The Secret History of the Lost Colony by John Scalzi – first truly sci-fi story in this anthology. Part of "Old Man's War" universe. 3/5

The Screams of Dragons by Kelley Armstrong – another creepy story about a child who’s having some strange dreams which trigger a series of awful events. 3/5

The Dry Spell by James P. Blaylock – – a story of a man and his obsession of rain; odd tale. 2/5

He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes by Harlan Ellison® - the author said as the end that this story is dedicated to his friend, Ray Bradbury, but only him knows what he meant, because I for one did not get it. 2/5

A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong by K.J. Parker – a story in the unmistakable style of KJ Parker and his witty twists. 4/5

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang – A brilliant story about truth, weaved from two parallel plans, one about memories (true vs fabricated), the other about words (written vs spoken). Again Chiang manages to produce a brilliant piece. Not at all a light reading but well worthy of your time. 5/5

A Long Walk Home by Jay Lake – the last story of this anthology is another sci-fi one, in which, on a faraway planet, one man, after a research deep under a mountain comes back and finds out that all the planet’s population of is gone and possibly from the whole universe. 3/5

*ARC received from Subterranean Press (Twitter: @SubPress) via NetGalley*
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,106 reviews3,878 followers
December 17, 2019
Review of Ted Chiang's story, The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling.
(Review was reassigned by GR librarians re categorising the story.)

When you learn to read you will be born again...and you will never be quite so alone again.
Rumer Godden

Two stories, separated by centuries and continents, explore the ramifications of becoming literate versus the consequences of being deskilled by technology, for individuals and societies.

In the near future thread, most people have outsourced much of their memory to lifelogs (audio and video), ultimately becoming cognitive cyborgs.
Far away, Jijingi, aged 13, is taught to read by a missionary - the only person in his village who can.

Both technologies change how people think, act, and process the word and the world, and neither are inherently forces for ease or good.

The sounds a person made while speaking wee as smooth and unbroken as the hide of a goat’s leg, but the words [on the page] were like the bones underneath the meat.

Both threads explore the importance of remembering and forgetting; the difference between two types of truth: what’s right (true in spirit) and what’s clinically accurate; the relative importance of personal experience over documentary evidence, and the temptation to prove one’s right over admitting when one’s wrong.

Be kind, don’t rewind?
Revisiting happy events would be a joy, and trying to check facts to settle an argument hard to resist. But there would be painful memories as well, in vivid detail. And sometimes, maybe often, there would be the unease of discovering one’s mental memory did not match the “facts”.

To a small extent, this happens already: when you unearth old photos, videos, letters, or school reports. Having history rewritten can be unsettling, especially as it’s likely to happen at times of upheaval, such as going through the possessions of a loved one who has died.

This story was published in Chiang’s collection, Exhalation. See HERE for my reviews of the other stories.
Profile Image for Ona.
141 reviews24 followers
June 2, 2017
It's short, simple and enjoyable story. I saw a comment that this reminds a tv series called "black mirror" and i completely agree with it. It's about all these new technologies contoling and taking over everyone's decisions in their hands. So when you think about it, it's truly marvelous and scary at the same time.

and you can read it online : https://subterraneanpress.com/magazin...
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book461 followers
January 17, 2018
Got to mull this one...review to follow.

Mull it, I did, and I've written reviews for 800 page novels that were easier than this. This story is complicated, it is a tad frightening, and it is remarkably relevant. If you have ever wondered where technology is going and think it has become too invasive, you will find here your worst fears realized. What is remarkable is that you will, at the same time, get a different view of how useful or harmful this invasion can be.

It is a short story. I won't take you long to read it, and I promise you will be thinking about it hours and maybe days later. It poses some interesting questions and it has a twist that will whip you around. Give it a go.
Profile Image for Tudor Vlad.
327 reviews72 followers
January 24, 2017
Very similar to Black Mirror's "The Entire History of You", it uses the same concept of having a piece of technology implanted that records all your life, making it extremely easy to have access to every memory, unaltered. Ted Chiang takes a similar idea but what makes out of it is completely different, offering another view of how such technology would affect individuals.
Profile Image for Alina.
751 reviews249 followers
September 8, 2018

Superbe writing and fascinating, thought provoking subject(s), masterfully rendered through an alternance between two plans and stories, which are somehow related, even if not directly connected.
I have NEVER raised the question of someone not knowing what a word is or how I could explain such a concept to someone - I always considered it an intrinsic concept.. The same with the fine line between righteousness and truth, or the one between a 'reliable' remembrance and the truth..

This just became my favorite work of Chiang's and I cannot recommend this highly enough!

Merged review:

***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and Subterranean Press in exchange for an honest review.

Many of the stories can be read for free on Subterranean, I linked them in my review for a taste of the collection. Below, each of the stories rated with its own stars and a few words of each, trying to avoid spoilers. I really liked that every story is preceded by a short bio of the author.

Perfidia by Lewis Shiner - 3.5/5★
An alternate history, mixed with research and mystery uncovering, plus a little stoll in the atiques markets of Paris, explaining the disappearance of jazz musician Glenn Miller - reminded me a little of Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant and his ‘jazzy’ father.

Game by Maria Dahvana Headley - 3.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
A speculative fiction, inspired by the memoirs of Jim Corbett, this is a story about memories and regrets, about friendship and betrayal, written in the form of a diary alternating between present and past.
[…] like every man dying from the beginning of his days, I regret the things I didn’t do, and I regret the things I did.
The Last Log of the Lachrimosa by Alastair Reynolds - 5/5★ (Read it HERE).
The writing is flowing, the plot is very interesting, the characters are compelling and extremly well developed for a work of such a small size. Here you can find a slightly more elaborate review.
[...] greed. The only thing in the universe stronger than fear.
The Seventeenth Kind by Michael Marshall Smith - 3+/5★
A story about a teleshopping salesman, very easily flowing and quite funny. They even made a short movie after this story.

Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind by Rachel Swirsky - 4+/5★ (Read it HERE).
An emotional post-apocalyptic story with lots of LASTs: the last man, the last lie, the last technological development, the last act of kindness, the last act of malice, the last anything. Unfortunately, rather fit for the end of humanity..

The Pile by Michael Bishop - 1/5★ (Read it HERE).
A story about a haunted (?) dancing monkey.. Despite the tragedy that surrounds this work (it was written in the memory of his son, who died in the Virginia Tech massacre, and based on his notes), this work had no value for me :(

The Bohemian Astrobleme by Kage Baker - 3+/5★ (Read it HERE).
The Gentlemen’s Speculative Society (I'll let you discover for yourself what this society does) is in search of a rare red stone/gem, with special properties, and sends some of its best people, including a deluxe prostitute, to find and acquire it. I rather enjoyed the writing and the (very) dry humor. The book is part of The Gentlemen's Speculative Society Series, which is a companion to The Company Series, both seemingly worth checking out.

Tanglefoot by Cherie Priest - 3.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
Theoretically a horror clockwork story, but with even more interesting secondary narrative: orphan boy taken under the protection of a doctor-and-inventor who now suffers from dementia, now living in the basement of a mental institution.

Hide and Horns by Joe R. Lansdale - 4/5★ (Read it HERE).
Oh, the dark humor in this one! Excellent writing; the story is a strangish western, with ‘hints’ of racism.

Balfour and Meriwether in the Vampire of Kabul by Daniel Abraham - 3+/5★ (Read it HERE).
A victorian short story set during the Great Game, featuring Balfour and Meriwether (an interesting pair, alike the famous Sherlock and Dr.Watson), the entertaining Russian Czarina Maria Feodorovna, a seemingly Afghan wizard and lots of opium.

Last Breath by Joe Hill - 3.5/5★
Very interesting (and creepy) premises: a silence museum, where you can find sealed jars with connected headphones/eardrums that help you feel the last breath of different persons. There’s also a short video on Youtube made after this story.

Younger Women by Karen Joy Fowler - 2.5/5★
During the whole story I had the distinct impression that she was talking about Twilight - if this was a parody, it’s ok..

White Lines on a Green Field by Catherynne M. Valente - 3+/5★ (Read it HERE).
As usual, I found Valente's writing engrossing and mysterious, I think hers is the only magical realism I actually like.. Lots of symbols and mythology, but the football and teen sex aren't that interesting to get past the 3★ "I liked it"..

The Least of the Deathly Arts by Kat Howard - 3.5+/5★ (Read it HERE).
What a premises ❤!! How I would have liked to see this as a longer prose, a little less abstract and vague. As it was, it did not satisfy my need for a clearer and more concrete statement/turn of phrase..

Water Can’t be Nervous by Jonathan Carroll - 3.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
A story about love and compromise, of failures and regrets, with a beautiful and compelling writing, but a rather obscure ending.

Valley of the Girls by Kelly Link - 1.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
A story about privileged teenagers who have look-alikes and who build their own Egyptian pyramids for parties and afterlife, with love triangles and other confusing stuff – not my kind of thing, even though it could have been interesting..

Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill! by Hal Duncan - 3+/5★ (Read it HERE).
Interesting approach to vampires and werewolves - but hey, i've got a soft spot on them! Added points for making a little fun of Twilight :D
“[…] he probably fucking glittered by the time he showed up as a late transfer in school to take her breath away. She, of course, being the only girl this gorgeous hunk had eyes for.”
Troublesolving by Tim Pratt - 2.5/5★
A kind of interesting noir time travel story, mixed with mystery. I liked it as I read it, but after some time, I realized I didn’t remember much about it..

The Indelible Dark by William Browning Spencer - 1-/5★ (Read it HERE).
There is a possibility that the concept would be interesting, but the execution was really crappy!

The Prayer of Ninety Cats by Caitlín R. Kiernan - 3/5★ (Read it HERE).
A mix between horror, dark fantasy and alternate history about the mass murderer Elisabeta Báthory (Hungarian countess), supplemented with a very interesting metafiction PoV.

The Crane Method by Ian R. MacLeod - 3.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
A story about an Oxford professor who takes credit for other people’s work, a discovery and a curse. Good writing, although the outcome is predictable.

The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn by Robert Silverberg - 2+/5★ (Read it HERE).
Why would you put so many new notions (invented places, animal names, etc) in a short story?! (L.E. I understand this is part of Majipoor series, but even so, why would it be included in an anthology if it’s clearly not standing on its one at least partly?); also, the ending was totally flat/unfinished, so I didn’t much like this one..

The Toys of Caliban (script) by George R.R. Martin - 4.5+/5★
I really liked this script-story, it was fascinating and engrossing and creepy. Apparently it is the screenplay for an episode in The New Twilight Zone TV-series.

The Secret History of the Lost Colony by John Scalzi - 3.5/5★ (Read it HERE).
This is my first meeting with Scalzi’s work, and I must say I really liked it, even though it’s not really a short story, but a removed chapter of this 3rd book in the Old Man series, so you’re practically thrown in an unknown background. But, even from this little bit, his characters seem compelling, the writing is good and it clearly made me want to read his works.

The Screams of Dragons by Kelley Armstrong - 3.5+/5★ (Read it HERE).
Good fantasy mixed with horror, featuring a boy who dreams of screaming dragons, verging on a psychological analogy.

The Dry Spell by James P. Blaylock - 2/5★ (Read it HERE).
A magical realism story about a man conjuring rain, not bad, but odd.

He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes by Harlan Ellison - 1/5★ (Read it HERE).
Don’t even know how to describe this, but I didn’t like it a bit..
L.E. nothing comes to mind when thinking back to this story, and I really mean NOTHING.. ☹

A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong by K.J. Parker - 5/5★ (Read it HERE).
Another brilliant story of Parker’s, about a professor with great knowledge about music and structure and a student with creative genius.

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang - 5/5★ (Read it HERE).
Superbe writing and fascinating, thought provoking subject(s), masterfully rendered through an alternance between two plans and stories, which are somehow related, even if not directly connected.
I have NEVER raised the question of someone not knowing what a word is or how I could explain such a concept to someone - I always considered it an intrinsic concept.. The same with the fine line between righteousness and truth, or the one between a 'reliable' remembrance and the truth..

A Long Walk Home by Jay Lake - 3+/5★ (Read it HERE).
Quite interesting story about loneliness: a genetically improved man is left on a distant planet after an incident where all electronic devices stopped working.

Overall, this collection had both brilliant and crappy (imo) works, but I enjoyed reading it. A total rating of 3.1 stars.
Profile Image for Andreas.
482 reviews128 followers
June 11, 2017
Full review at my blog.
Best stories in this anthology:

★★★★★ • A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong • 2011 • Alternate World novella by K. J. Parker about the creative genius of two musicians • review
★★★★★ • The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling • 2013 • Near Future SF novelette by Ted Chiang about a perfect memory recording gadget • review

Worst stories:

 • The Secret History of the Lost Colony • 2008 • SF short story by John Scalzi
 • He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes • 2014 •  short story by Harlan Ellison • review


9 • ★★★★ • Perfidia • 2004 • thriller novelette about Glen Miller's death by Lewis Shiner • review
49 • ★★★★ • Game • 2012 • Magical realism novelette about hunting tigers in 1950 by Maria Dahvana Headley • review
79 • ☆ • The Last Log of the Lachrimosa by Alastair Reynolds • Horror - didn't read
125 • ★★★+ • The Seventeenth Kind • SF comedy about a shopping channel presenter, a novelette by Michael Marshall Smith • review
145 • ★★+ • Dispersed by the Sun Melting in the Wind • Post Apocalyptic short story with multiple "lasts" by Rachel Swirsky • review
157 • ★★+ • The Pile • ghost story about a Macarena dancing gorilla toy by Michael Bishop • review
175 • ★★★★ • The Bohemian Astrobleme • 2010 • Steampunk novelette by Kage Baker about a prostitute-spy investigation in Bohemia • review
205 • ★★★ • Tanglefoot • 2008 • Steampunk novelette by Cherie Priest about a boy creating a clockwork doll • review
235 • ★★★ • Hide and Horns • 2009 • Western novelette by Joe R. Lansdale • review
259 • ★★★★ • Balfour and Meriwether in the Vampire of Kabul 2011 • Steampunk novelette by Daniel Abraham • review
285 • ★★★ • Last Breath • 2005 • Weird short story by Joe Hill • review
295 • ★★ • Younger Women • 2011 • Weird short story by Karen Joy Fowler • review
303 • ★★ • White Lines on a Green Field • 2011 • Magic realism novelette by Catherynne M. Valente • review
323 • ★★+ • The Least of the Deathly Arts • 2012 • Fantaasy short story by Kat Howard • review
335 • ★★+ • Water Can’t be Nervous • 2012 • Mainstream short story by Jonathan Carroll • review
345  • ★★★+ • Valley of the Girls • 2011 • SF short story by Kelly Link • review
361 • ★★★+ • Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill! • 2012 • Urban Fantasy short story by Hal Duncan • review
381 • ★★★ • Troublesolving • 2009 • SF novelette by Tim Pratt • review
407 • ★★+ • The Indelible Dark • 2012 • SF Metafiction novelette by William Browning Spencer • review
435 • ★★★ • The Prayer of Ninety Cats • 2013 • Dark Fantasy novelette by Caitlín R. Kiernan • review
471 • ★★+ • The Crane Method • 2011 • Magical realism short story by Ian R. MacLeod • review
485 • ★★★ • The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn • 2011 • SF novelette by Robert Silverberg • review
521 • ☆ • The Toys of Caliban • 1986 • Horror novelette by George R. R. Martin • Screenplay for The New Twilight Zone S2E29 based on an unpublished story by Terry Matz
561 •  • The Secret History of the Lost Colony • 2008 • SF short story by John Scalzi • A removed chapter from "The Last Colony". Why would anyone else than absurdely hardcore fans of that series want to read something like that? Why is this considered a "Best of Subterranean"?
577 • ★★★ • The Screams of Dragons • 2014 • Urban Fantasy novelette by Kelley Armstrong • review
619 • ★★★ • The Dry Spell 2009 • Magical realism short story by James P. Blaylock about a man daring the heavens to rain • review
635 •  • He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes • 2014 •  short story by Harlan Ellison • review
645 • ★★★★★ • A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong • 2011 • Alternate World novella by K. J. Parker about the creative genius of two musicians • review
685 • ★★★★★ • The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling • 2013 • Near Future SF novelette by Ted Chiang about a perfect memory recording gadget • review
723 • ★★★ • A Long Walk Home • 2011 • Far future SF novelette by Jay Lake about loneliness • review

Merged review:

Repost from my blog.

Summary:  What would a perfect memory mean for us and our culture? How changed literacy our subjectivity? A journalist explores the pros and cons of a Cyborgish memory enhancement gadget called Remem which lets you capture, search, and replay every instance of your liveblog. It would bring a change similar to reading and writing for our Western culture, so he writes the story of the savage folk of Tev who slowly learn the impact of written truth versus oral truth. He can't stop people adopting the gadget like the tribes oral culture could stop writing on paper; so, he tried to find the positive in it.

Review:  First, I feared yet another linguistic exploration of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (which Chiang already explored in Story of your Life), but then it gladly developed in a different direction, that of literacy. The story contains lots of brain food about different sorts of truth - the harsh truth of facts versus smoothening truth of feeling, the stories of yourself which you need to comfort yourself or your tribe, which are based on forgiving and forgetting. The author gave us two interposed point of views for comparison, and to understand the concept: one set in the future in first person perspective of the journalist who wrote the whole story. It is mostly about the relationship to his daughter, and his finding out with the help of the memory gadget that he was wrong about his history:

And I think I’ve found the real benefit of digital memory. The point is not to prove you were right; the point is to admit you were wrong.

The tribal version of adopting new forms of memory was narrated in the point of view of a boy who learned reading and writing from a missionary. I found the insights into the process wonderful and bringing a lot to understand what the futuristic gadget would bring to our culture. Just one sample:

It was only many lessons later that Jijingi finally understood where he should leave spaces, and what Moseby meant when he said “word.” You could not find the places where words began and ended by listening. The sounds a person made while speaking were as smooth and unbroken as the hide of a goat’s leg, but the words were like the bones underneath the meat, and the space between them was the joint where you’d cut if you wanted to separate it into pieces. By leaving spaces when he wrote, Moseby was making visible the bones in what he said.

This gadget will change our "private oral culture" just as writing changed the tribal's oral culture. It will be difficult to rewrite our pasts to our needs.

Sometimes the narration feels more like an essay than a story, it moves slowly, even contemplative. And then, it isn't an essay at all but character driven, providing a lot of character development and insights into the main characters. Anyways, it is a masterful usage of futuristic technology to explore philosophical topics in the frame of a short story: Chiang focuses on the searchable story telling capabilities of technology only, and left out several other aspects that this gadget could be used for (think of medical usages).

I fully recommend this novelette to everyone searching for more heavy-weight stories: It will stay with you for some time: Did you already think about your own made-up story?
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
April 23, 2014
4.5 stars. I think this was my favorite of all of the Hugo Award nominated stories of 2014 because it surprised me, and made me reconsider my preconceived ideas on the subject. As a person with moderate memory trouble I've already put a small amount of thought into this topic. Like some of the people in the story, I was stuck seeing things as I expected to, which is exactly what Chiang expected.

I also thought it was so simply effective because it took just that one element, the memory search and playback device, and speculated what impact that would have on people and on society. It was really fascinating to see Chiang's ideas about what a perfect memory would mean, both in society (to the justice system, for example) and much more surprisingly to interpersonal relationship and to individuals. It was really a great use of science fiction, taking a technology that we already have and projecting it several steps down the road and seeing what the implications could very well be.
Profile Image for Ellie.
1,458 reviews369 followers
November 25, 2016
A fascinating look at human narrative told from the point of view of the future - and the past. The primary narrator is living in some unspecified future time and is examining fcurrent technology that allows everyone to keep a "lifelog"-a vlog that covers their entire lives, soon to start in infancy. A new technology has been developed-Remem-that allows people to search through their memories to verify what is true from what has been misremembered. The narrator discusses a poignant example vis a vis his relationship with his daughter. He decides that ultimately no matter how the story is created, humans continue to be made of narrative.

The alternating story concerns a young boy in a tribe in the 1940s. The boy learns to read and write from a European missionary. Again, the story examines how reality is mediated-indeed formed by technology, here the technology of paper and pen. The question examined is which is more true: literal facts or truth constructed on the meaning people need. There is a truth that is different from the literal one: is it of less value?

This short story examines questions of truth, reality, and technology as well as what gives meaning to our lives. I found it fascinating and well worth rereading. It is available free through a link in the Goodreads description of the story.
Profile Image for Gorab.
611 reviews99 followers
January 15, 2019
Reading this author is always fun - lots of food for thought.
In this short story, the idea is around "Remem" - a camera embedded in your retina which creates a video log of your life. The comparison is done against a primeval society where writing (recording speech via symbols) came in as a new idea.
There is another layer of father-daughter relationship and how these technical advancements interfere with your emotional self and eventually your relations with each other.

So many ideas stuffed in a short story!
Profile Image for LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!.
561 reviews139 followers
November 13, 2021
I couldn't finish this behemoth of an anthology. I was about 60% finished when I realized that every time I started a story, I'd become annoyed and antsy. Subterranean Press puts out some good stuff, but I only found a handful of stories that I really liked. I'd like to think that the last few stories ended with a bang, but my patience didn't last that long. 2 1/2 stars, rounded up to 3. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers.
Profile Image for Dennis.
656 reviews263 followers
July 2, 2021
The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang

Not read as part of this anthology. Another story that got merged by Goodreads librarians.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,459 reviews445 followers
November 26, 2017
This is a behemoth of an anthology. Utterly intimidating in its size. I never read Subterranean Magazine during its 9 years of publication, wasn't even aware of it until now (though I did know about Subterranean Press), so no idea how large those quarterlies were or how good they were, so no idea how selective Subterranean long time editor Schafer was when putting this collection together (maybe it's just all the stories previously published combined), but best seems like an appropriate title, because these stories are terrific. I was enticed by the line up, seemed like a great way to discover new genre authors, for one thing, and this one turned out well worth the epic effort. Actually, effort isn't a correct description, maybe if the book was read in a physical form. In digital, it's the sort of thing Kindle is perfect for. It did take an inordinately long time to finish, but I read a bunch of other books in between. Nothing about this book was short, even these stories aren't, more along the lines of long short fiction or even novellas, but all so good. Subterranean Press, as the name suggests, specializes in the darker aspects of genre fiction be it suspense, science fiction or scary. What surprised me was how many stories weren't definitively genre, more along the lines of speculative fiction. And all so well written, that was my favorite thing about this collection, even things I don't normally go for like paranormal suspense or fantasy still so good, so engaging. It can't be a small task to find and sustain that level of literary quality and for that kudos must be dished out and accolades thrown around. Well done, Subterranean Press. Well done me for getting through it, for that matter, I normally tend to stay away from such voluptuous volumes. Any fans of speculative literary fiction would be delighted with this collection. Every story a treasure making this essentially a treasure trove. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
Profile Image for Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V..
803 reviews125 followers
December 19, 2017
2.5 Stars

As with most anthologies, this one was a mixed bag. Out of 30 stories collected for this anthology, there were only 8 that really stuck with me. And considering this one ranked in at over 700 pages, that's not very hopeful.

The Last Log of the Lachrimosa by Alastair Reynolds - This is truly classic sci-fi, where our ‘merry band of rebels’ wreck on an unknown planet that contains some very old, and very dangerous, secrets. I especially loved the switch in time-lines from the crew’s crashing on the planet and their next steps, to then essentially going to the end of the story where we have a man with a noose around his neck, being slowly killed. I enjoyed the build up to finding out how they ended up in the situation.

The Seventeenth Kind by Michael Marshall Smith - A sci-fi comedy by which we are introduced to a tv shopping channel presenter who gets more than he bargained for when an alien species calls into his show. Thoroughly entertaining!

The Pile by Michael Bishop - This story takes on a very surreal and dreamy quality to it, as the author presents us a story about an apartment complex that has a junk pile that the residents are constantly adding to and removing from, and what happens when an old singing monkey is thrown on the pile. This had a creepy, almost Twilight Zone feel to it that I enjoyed.

Sic Him, Hellhound! Kill! Kill! by Hal Duncan - A werewolf story I can get behind. The supernatural beings in this story are no sparling vampires or angsty werewolf teenagers. They are grizzly and ruthless, and I of course approve of the grotesque ways these supernatural beings haunt their prey.

Troublesolving by Tim Pratt - I don’t usually buy into time travel stories because they more often than not end up like swiss cheese. This one, however, had a great premise and I was fully able to buy into this story and found it very entertaining. This is one that I think I could read as a full-length novel, giving more opportunity to delve into the gangstalking and the origins of the time-travel safe.

The Toys of Caliban (script) by George R.R. Martin - This one might take the cake as my favorite story in the collection. Martin brings us a dark and traumatic script about a kid who has the ability to say the word “bring” to a picture or a memory of something and it manifests in front of him. When a seriously traumatic event happens in the household, we get to see the full horror of the child’s abilities. And I LOVED the ending for this one.

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang - A very relevant fictional story about what our future would look like if/when we go from an oral history, to a written history, to then a solely digital history that can’t be falsified or remembered incorrectly.

A Long Walk Home by Jay Lake - It’s quite difficult for me to say if this story, or Martin’s “The Toys of Caliban” is my favorite in this collection. For sure the collection ended on a strong note with this one. A man is underground when some unseen occurrence happens and he is the only human left on a world. He has no idea where anyone went and spends over a century wondering the entirety of the planet he is stuck on.

Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for David.
Author 17 books333 followers
July 10, 2014
This novelette was right up my alley - I have a great interest in the idea of writing and how it actually affects the mind, and Chiang does this here by juxtaposing two unconnected stories. The first is about a new technology, "Remem," a sort of futuristic cloud app that will allow everyone to call up memories of everything they have ever experienced, at any time. The author explores how this will affect people's entire life experiences when their memories are now subject to constant auditing, internal and external, when veracity becomes much less subjective, when you can no longer "forget" things or, as the main character discovers, remember them the wrong way.

The second story, running in parallel, is about a West African tribe, the Tiv, and their adaptation to the coming of Europeans, who bring with them writing and literacy. The protagonist of the second story is a boy named Jijingi who is taught to read and write by a European priest. Initially excited by the idea that he can "relive" anything through the medium of paper, then disappointed and then skeptical at its utility, Jijingi becomes seduced by the power of incontrovertible written words, until he finds them in conflict with his loyalties to his Tiv tribe.

In both cases, we learn that even with "objective" recordings of "the truth," humans are fickle and unreliable creatures, and that truth must be leavened with discernment for what's right.

Both stories had solid climaxes in which the punchline is delivered, and though they never connect directly, the parallels are obvious. This was an intelligent, thoroughly readable story in the tradition of good thought-provoking SF.
Profile Image for Nancy O'Toole.
Author 16 books52 followers
August 1, 2014
With The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling, Ted Chiang has hit one of my thematic sweet spots by writing a story about memory. The novelette is divided into two storylines. One tells about a reporter encountering, with much trepidation, a new type of technology that will basically replace out natural human memory. The second tells a historical account of a young man living in Tivland, encountering the written word for the first time. These two elements may sound different, but they're actually telling the same story: how more precise methods of keeping track of memories impact out overall concepts of truth, and the benefits and drawbacks to these technologies.

The story is strongly written with an engaging voice, and a few moments that genuinely surprised me. I love how the author tackled the subject of memory and truth in a thought provoking way. This is the second short piece of I've read by Chiang, the first being Exhalation, and it's safe to say that it's my favorite by him so far. (Hugo Reading)
Profile Image for Bogi Takács.
Author 54 books564 followers
October 27, 2019
Edited to add: Goodreads seems to have deleted the original location of this review because I haven't even read The Best of Subterranean. I wish they at least warned us with mergers like this.


Conceptually interesting, but not as novel as most of his previous work. Maybe because the plot is about lifelogs and I'm of the generation who has chatlogs stretching back over a decade, so what he describes as the future is actually quite similar to the present as far as I'm concerned, just with more bandwidth. The suspension of disbelief would've worked better for me if he actually mentioned that in the story.

I found the writing surprisingly sloppy, but I wonder if Subterranean is to blame rather than him, I have this impression with many stories they published.

Still working my way through the Hugo voter packet...
Profile Image for Chanel Earl.
Author 11 books38 followers
August 22, 2015
Interesting, I loved the premise of this story and the way the two narratives were reflected in each other.

When I first rated this (4 stars) I did so because there were some things bout the structure that I didn't like, but now the story has been percolating in my brain for six months and I realize it certainly deserves five stars. I have come back to it over and over again. I love what it means and how it gets to that meaning. I love how it has made me second guess my own memory and how it has made me rethink the technologies I use.

Wonderful story that I would recommend to everyone.
Profile Image for Lucian Clark.
Author 2 books8 followers
December 29, 2022
Contains one of my favorite short stories of all time: Sic Him Hellhound! Kill! Kill! by Hal Duncan. An amazing collection.
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,906 reviews1,235 followers
July 22, 2014
I actually read this back when Subterranean Press first published it online. I almost didn’t re-read it when I found it in the Hugo Voters Packet … but then I decided that I wanted to write a review of it, and I wanted to refresh my memory. I’m glad I did this, because “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” is even better than I remember. (I am aware of the irony of this statement given the story’s subject matter.)

The subjectivity of human memory is a subject open to endless interesting speculation. It drives one of my favourite devices, the unreliable narrator, and it informs the motives and choices of every person, real or fictional. We all edit our memories, recollect experiences imperfectly, hide inconvient truths or simply blur and half-forget past events. Ted Chiang points out in this novelette that writing has altered the way in which we remember. It is writing, he argues, that was our first step towards being “cognitive cyborgs” rather than any of the lifelogging, search-driven tools that are just beginning to creep onto the public stage today.

As a reader and a writer, I’ve long found the development of writing a fascinating subject for study. Our brains are naturally wired for language, yet we must learn to read and write. What is it like not to be literate? I can’t read non-Latin alphabets; I can’t even read most non-English languages in the Latin alphabet—yet, as a result of my literacy in English, I understand the concept of reading for information and pleasure. Through the character of Jijingi, Chiang allows the literate individual a glimpse at a grown person’s journey from illiteracy literacy. The revelation of what words are, and of how writing allows one to compose and order one’s thoughts in a predetermined manner, is fascinating, and it’s not something that those of us who are literate from an early age often consider. We take our literacy and the mindset that comes with it for granted.

But what Chiang also explores is the idea, perhaps unsettling, that literacy is a form of colonization. We colonize our past with it, appropriating it and fixing it. In pre-literate societies like the Tiv, history is oral. It requires better memory—something true of most societies prior to the onset of easy access to books—but even the best memories are fallible, as Chiang demonstrates with the squabble over the Shangev’s ancestors. The Tiv view writing as a European idea and therefore view it with suspicion. They do not think it can replicate the “truth of feeling”, mimi, that they use to speak of what is right. And maybe, to some extent, they are correct.

Chiang juxtaposes this ambivalence towards literacy with a narrator’s review of Remem, software that contextually searches one’s lifelog. In this way he comments concurrently on many popular trends today in society as well as in science fiction. We live in a surveillance state; the only question is the degree to which we are surveilled. Much of that surveillance is done by the government or its proxies, but almost as much happens on behalf of the individual. We record and photograph and otherwise document and tag our lives—hence lifelogging. We’re just now beginning to understand how this will affect us down the road, when Google produces that embarrassing photo you wish you had never shared. Remem is Google on speed and with impeccable timing, and as Chiang’s narrator explains, it is a tool with great advantages and great disadvantages.

Now, Chiang could have written about either of these tools—writing or Remem—in isolation and produced a good story. “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” excels, however, precisely because of this skilful juxtaposition. Interspersing the narrator’s Remem tale with Jijingi’s tale is very effective. It allows Chiang to make points about both technologies, and as a result, the story isn’t just about our relationship with writing or our relationship with remembering—it’s a combination of both, greater than the sum of its parts.

Short stories and novelettes seldom make their mark through their characters or even, often, their events. They are too short to build towards massive climaxes. Their significance lies in the ability of the writer to capture a single Big Idea and whittle it down into a memorable Notion. Chiang showcases that ability here. This story is entertaining and moving, because it has the human elements: Jijingi’s tragic relationship with his own writing; the narrator’s fragile relationship with his daughter. But it also makes the reader think, hopefully in new and interesting ways.

This is probably my favourite nominee for Hugo novelette this year, because it comes close to a perfect short-form work of science fiction. So, take that with the grain of salt that you will.

Creative Commons BY-NC License
Profile Image for Ctgt.
1,410 reviews83 followers
March 3, 2016
Hugo novelette nominee. I have one more to read in this category but it will have to be very good to knock this book out of the top spot.

Not a story as such, it is written as an academic paper switching between the current time period and the 1940's when Tivland was discovered by the Europeans.

In the current time frame the author discusses the implications of a new type of software, Remem which is basically an advanced search engine for use in retrieving information from personal lifelogs. Lifelogs you say? Think Google glass with a camera that records everything that you experience. For whatever reason the current technology makes searching your lifelog burdensome so in steps Remem. You query a moment from your life and Remem pulls up the associated video. The author begins to explore the pros and cons of many advances that make our life "easier" but also brings up the point of what we may be losing in the process.

I think about how things have "progressed" just in my lifetime and how my sons life is so vastly different, handwriting? forget it. How about your memory? Put your smartphone down and remember one of the phone numbers in there. No, your parents or your spouses number doesn't count.

There is quite a bit of exploration of just how a technology like this would change personal relationships. Remember that fight you and your significant other had a couple of months ago, who started it? No more arguments about who is to blame but does this really help or hurt relationships?
How much does forgiveness hinge on our ability to forget? How about the way we use selective memory? There is a moment in the story where the author uses the software to return to a fight he had with his daughter many years ago and finds out that his memory of the incident is completely opposite from what really occurred.

These thoughts are juxtaposed with the discovery of the Tiv people, a people with no written language and we follow along as one the youngsters from the tribe learns to read and write. The author delves a bit into the transition from an oral to a literate society. For the Tiv, there is truth and there is right and they are not always the same.

Before a culture adopts the use of writing, when its knowledge is transmitted exclusively through oral means, it can very easliy revise its history. It's not intentional, but it is inevitable; throughout the world, bards and griots have adapted their material to their audiences, and thus gradually adjusted the past to suit the needs of the present.

The author of the paper goes from extreme wariness of the technology to reluctant acceptance of the possible good outcomes from its use. (I'm not joning him there yet) Timely and thought provoking.

And I think I've found the real benefit of digital memory. The point is not to prove you were right; the point is to admit you were wrong.

Because all of us have been wrong on various occasions, engaged in cruelty and hypocrisy, and we've forgotten most of those occasions. And that means we don't really know ourselves.
Profile Image for PRINCESS.
409 reviews17 followers
January 11, 2018
"We don't normally think of it as such, but writing is a technology"

Plot 1:
Have you noticed when a child in your family is suffering from an issue, all what will occupy your mind is how to help that child! If you are a caring person you will do whatever it takes to find the solution.
In this short story; Nicole has a problem with spelling, but she can read the words so the father removes all kind of software’s and unnecessary materials and provides her a keyboard.
Plot 2:
Think before you talk.
Jijingi is a young man living in West Africa. He learns how to write and he falls in love with writings but he is thought by Moseby that to be careful in choosing words and to pause between his speeches and to deliver a better speech it would be advisable to write it down. For Jijingi and his people it is a bit hard since they speak very fast with no pause and then why he should write down a dialogue that he wants to say? He is unable to understand how a person might forget what he wants to say.

My first read of Chiang but I should absolutely say he is genius in choosing his subjects.
He writes about people who constantly are trying to measure, analyze and explain their world.
Profile Image for Jeff Stockett.
349 reviews15 followers
May 20, 2014
This story was sooooo good!

I'm very interested in the lifelogging movement. I follow it in blogs. I follow the various technology companies. I even own some lifelogging devices. The devices that exist today are nothing compared to the Remem device depicted in this story, but that's what makes it science fiction.

As a person who spends countless hours tagging photos and videos to make them searchable, the technology described in this book made me very excited. But, of course, as technology always does, the Remem device changes society. It changes interpersonal relationships and it changes the nature of memories and of our very thoughts.

The duality in this story was brilliant. Yes, a futuristic lifelogging device would change so much in our society. But technology has changed us before. I loved the story about how a pen and paper were new technology once, and they completely disrupted a society that was based on oral stories and traditions handed down from parents to children.

I loved this story, and while I haven't read all of the Hugo nominees in this category yet, I can say that it's my favorite so far, so it's likely to get my vote.
Profile Image for LiN.
187 reviews5 followers
May 1, 2019
คอนเซิร์นเกี่ยวกับความจำระหว่าง organic memory กับ digital memory อันแรกนั้นแบบมันน่าโหยหานะ แต่จะปรุงแต่งยังไงก็ได้ แล้วแต่เจ้าตัว ส่วนอีกดิจิทัลก็คือเหมือนไร้ความรู้สึก ภาพ/วิดีโอ มันแม่นยำ แต่อาจจะจริงเกินไปงี้

ต่างๆ เหล่านี้มีผลต่อความสัมพันธ์ขนาดไหน และอย่างไร การให้ความสำคัญแต่สิ่งที่เป็นลายลักษณ์อักษร จะทำให้ความเคารพ/ความเห็นใจลดลงมั้ย จุดรอมซอมอยู่ตรงไหนล่ะ

เล่าผ่านสองเส้นเหตุการณ์ต่างยุค แต่มีจุดร่วมคือ 'เทคโนโลยีการบันทึกข้อมูล' เส้นหนึ่งคือยุคที่บันทึกประวัติศาสตร์ด้วยการขีดเขียน มันมั่นคงกว่าปากต่อปาก แต่ก็อาจมีไบแอสเยอะแยะ อีกเส้นคืออนาคตที่เกือบทุกคนมีอุปกรณ์ฝังในเรตินา เก็บล็อก เชื่อมโยง และเรียกดูสะดวก มีคอนฟลิกต์คือพ่อลูกมีความทรงจำต่อเหตุการณ์เดียวกันแตกต่างกัน คนนึงรำลึกด้วยความจำ อีกคนมีล็อก

ชวนให้คิดถึงข้อดีข้อเสียของดิจิทัลและอนาล็อกทุกวันนี้ที่คนยังถกเถียงกันไม่หยุด ประโยชน์ของมันก็ขึ้นอยู่เฉพาะบุคคลมากกว่าไหมล่ะ
Profile Image for Sean O'Hara.
Author 19 books91 followers
June 24, 2014
This is definitely the story I'm putting at the top of my Hugo ballot. Both in terms of writing and having something to say, it blows away everything else nominated. The Voxxy and Torgesen stories seem like something a toddler scribbled on the wall by comparison.
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
902 reviews388 followers
November 7, 2017
Más que una historia, es casi un ensayo sobre lo que puede venir en relación al papel que va a jugar la memoria en las personas conforme vaya avanzando la tecnología. Interesantísimo.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 165 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.