Skip to main content

"In Memoriam" by Joanne Harris

"In Memoriam" by Joanne Harris 

This story comes out of the anthology "Dead Letters."  The anthology is edited by Conrad Williams. 

A man named, Carey Loewe, worked in the National Returns Centre for the Royal Mail.  The place where all the lost, return to sender, mail to Santa Claus, or just unmarked packages went when they couldn't find a home or the recipient of the letter or package.  he would open up the letters or packages and look to see if there was any information inside to get the item back to the owner. 

One day he found a letter addressed to Carey Loewe.  He couldn't believe he found a letter addressed to himself.  The sender was Liesel Blau and postmark stamped 1971.  One of the mysteries was that inside the letter was a photograph and USB thumb drive.  Technology that didn't exist in 1971.  He snuck the letter out of the Centre and went home.  He downloaded the thumb drive to his computer while checking out the photo.  On the thumb drive were even more pictures. 

He recognizes himself in all the photos and a little girl.  Slowly memories that he had hidden away start to resurface.  He remembers the little girl.  He remembers the other people in the photographs.  Slowly with each picture, the story takes you a little further into his hidden memories and thoughts.  His life growing up starts to unfold one picture at a time. 

This story did a good job of creating a mysterious circumstance revolving around one person.  It led you to believe there was more that first met the eye.  And then as the story progresses you find out there was more.  There was a lot more. 

It also left you wondering.  What was real and what was imagined.  Was this a man going insane?  Or was something bigger going on?  This story had a little bit of everything.  Mystery, suspense, ghosts (maybe?), childhood memories, and actions that may or may not have been taken.   

The only downside to this story I had is that I think it could have been longer.  The story was great, but it felt like it was a much bigger story forced into a short story.  The plot had a novel feel to it, not so much a short story.  Overall it was a good story, but just felt like it was forced into a short instead of taking advantage of a longer length like a novel, or even a novella.


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Shooting the Apocalypse" by Paolo Bacigalupi

"Shooting the Apocalypse" by Paolo Bacigalupi
This story comes from the anthology "Loosed Upon The World" edited by John Joseph Adams.
The end of the world?  Or maybe just the beginning to the end?  This story was definitely a wake-up call for some of the basic resources we have here on earth.  One of them in particular, water.
Texas has dried up and Phoenix is one of the few towns that still has water.  Phoenix's water supply is served by a canal that connects to the Colorado River.  The canal is called CAP, or Central Arizona Project.  The CAPis made of cementand protected by surrounding chain link fencing.  The CAP is an engineering feat of great magnitude.  The bureaucrats successfully negotiated the project before all of Texas dried up.  In the end Phoenix had better government officials.
Texans are constantly trying to breach the CAP for water.  There is a sort of civil war between Texans and the residents of Phoenix.  They hate each other to the poin…

"The Reach" by Stephen King

"The Reach" by Stephen King
This story has been published many times, originally in Yankee, under the name "Do The Dead Sing", and then later in Skeleton Crew under the name "The Reach."  I read this story in the anthology "The Dark Descent" edited by David G. Hartwell.
An old woman, Stella Flanders,contemplates her time living on an island for her entire life.  She considers things she would say to her children and her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.  She thinks about everything that has happened on the island and all the things that she has seen.  She thinks about how the island is more of a family than just a community.
Stella Flanders has seen her share of things and it all takes place around The Reach.  That space between the island and mainland.  Mainland where there is life outside of the small community.  Stella never found a need to go across the reach and was content to live right where she was on the island.
Time is…