cover image Memories of Tomorrow

Memories of Tomorrow

Mayi Pelot, trans. from the Basque by Arrate Hidalgo. Aqueduct, $16 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-61976-226-8

The five sci-fi shorts and one novella in this impressive collection from Pelot (1947–2016) explore the aftermath of a third world war. The flash fiction opener, “Miren,” showcases Pelot’s ability to make a visceral emotional impact in only two pages. “Row, row,” about a girl named Leyre attending a lesson on the futuristic Anti-Pollution Wall, builds on that first story in a devastating way, exploring the interconnectivity of individual trauma. The emotionally authentic “Feedback” follows a Muslim man living in 2039. The standout is novella “The Exchange,” in which an unfaithful man named Wotan pursues the mysterious being Erda, who lives beneath the planet Daleth. The tale is lush and immersive in its illustrative descriptions of other worlds and other beings, and contains the most beautiful prose of the entire collection. Hidalgo’s introduction, which provides fascinating context for Basque science fiction, lauds Pelot as an “innovator,” and these six works prove her worthy of this praise. Readers will be delighted to dive in to Pelot’s oeuvre. (Apr.)