Sunday, May 25, 2008

Peter Watts' "Repeating the Past" (flash fiction, science fiction, free): Teaching the young irreverent the meaning of fear!!!

Two interesting observations, both for the better, about author's writing style - when I compare this story to better known "Blindsight":

  1. This story uses clean language; no profanity. So if I liked the subject matter, I could have referred it to younger crowd.
  2. While there is some jargon here, it's only to aid the story. Focus is on story telling. Compared to Blindsight, it's very clean writing.

Story summary.

Story is narrated by a survivor of Nazi concentration camps. The year is 2017. The old man is a retired doctor; so is his daughter - both specialists in brain editing, though daughter is more skillful!

Story concerns the daughter's son - an adolescent who has all but forgotten the concentration camps, & is rather irreverent towards its victims.

To teach him proper respect for the times, grandpa surgically modifies his brain - so he is "Jumping at shadows. Not sleeping at night." Basically behaving like a victim himself!!!

Collected in.

  1. David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer (Ed)'s "Year's Best SF 13" (2008).

Fact sheet.

First published: Nature, 29 November 2007.
Rating: C
Download full text.