“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.


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