cover image Forest of Memory

Forest of Memory

Mary Robinette Kowal., $9.99 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8791-2

In this brief but captivating epistolary story, set in a future Pacific Northwest where technology records all events and has rendered both natural memory and storytelling superfluous, Kowal (Word Puppets) evokes a world of interconnectedness. In a letter written on an ancient instrument known as a typewriter, Katya Gould recounts being kidnapped and forced to live without access to LiveConnect, the ubiquitous communication and memory-recording network. She attempts to describe her experience, alone and threatened by events she can neither understand nor examine in the way she is accustomed to. The letter is a unique document in the story’s world. In contrast to the perfection of recorded memories, Katya’s typing errors have been preserved, standing as testament to the very human source of the recollection. The fallibility of the narrator leaves the reader wondering what to believe about her remarkable story. Kowal has created a mystery that is satisfying and consistent, and this delightful and thought-provoking novella is exactly as long as it needs to be. (Mar.)