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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Fantastic Stories #230, Sept./Oct. 2015

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Fantastic Stories #230, September/October 2015

 
The Attic of Memories” by Sunil Patel
I Miss Flowers” by Alexandra Grunberg

Reviewed by Colleen Chen

This issue of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination features two original stories, both flash fiction, and three reprints.

In “The Attic of Memories,” by Sunil Patel, the narrator collects memories from travels across the galaxy at the urging of his or her attic. Strong emotions, exquisite tastes, incomparable moments all go into small iridescent cubes that are placed in the attic, which seems to want to see the world vicariously through these memories.

This is a lovely flash fiction piece, enjoyable for its visual, sensual prose. Although the story evokes questions beyond what is presented here, it’s appropriate that the piece itself is like one of the cubes—a microcosm of something that can only be imagined.

I Miss Flowers,” by Alexandra Grunberg, is more mysterious yet. The narrator is inside a tube of some sort, kept artificially alive through technology and yet not truly alive. She is conscious, but trapped—seeing the world through a haze of wavy lines, without the capacity to communicate or to know what lies beyond where she’s contained. She misses flowers, she thinks, but that longing symbolizes so much more.

This somewhat depressing piece reminded me of the kind of stories I had to analyze in high school English class. It’s not very subtle, but it has a lot of moral depth and poses troubling questions about a hypothetical future that encapsulates disconnected ideals we strive for today—the prolongation of life, the development of technology. Sometimes we forget about humanity in the process.


Colleen Chen is the author of the novel Dysmorphic Kingdom and can be located at www.colleenchen.com.