“The Millennium Party” by Walter Jon Williams

Williams gives us a short, sharp look at the future in this brief story. Darien and his wife are celebrating their thousandth anniversary, but in this future world, everyone has multiple brains that they interchange, each with its own purpose. For the celebration, Darien slots the brain that holds only the good, loving, passionate memories, none of the disagreements, arguments hurts, reflecting their life together as “one enchanted jewel after another.”

The evening does sound perfect, the setting, food wine all customized just for the two of them, but for the reader the severe compartmentalization of each aspect of life is de-humanizing. People are the result of all their experiences, good and bad, all their roles. While it would be nice to choose what to remember, life would lose it’s richness. We wouldn’t cherish our relationships as much. It’s disturbing, really, so different from how we process emotions, thoughts, feelings.

You can find the short story at The Infinite Matrix.

John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.


  1. I don’t normally read sci-fi but I like the subject of this story. Just thinking about having multiple brains is staggering, not to mention a body that is a thousand years old. I would imagine the body has replacement parts too. You’ve intrigued me enough that I’m going to break down and read it. Thanks.

  2. This kind of reminds me of that Jim Carey Kate Winslet movie where Kate was erasing the memories of her relationship of Jim b/c she wanted only happy memories. I agree that we are the sum of good and bad memories.

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