Sunday, March 14, 2010

Memory Dog

Novelette by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Originally published in Asimov's

Mike is a (female) dog who has had the memories of a scientist downloaded into her, as a way of staying close to his ex-wife. Forgive the pronoun confusion. He lives with his ex-wife and her boyfriend as they hide out from the fascist government.

Although the news cannot be trusted, blogging has evolved to the point where you can download trusted posts directly into your brain. The wide-scale transference of memory is dealt with in an interesting, idealistic way here. Basically this takes the hackers using memory transference for good, against the government, rather than the government using it for evil side of things.

The concept of the original memory drugs and the spread to use as news and eventually for the good of humanity is well done and complicated here. If the technology existed, this is a plausible story. And the complexity of Mike/MemoryDog as a character is great. He really is a dog, at the same time as being a repentant husband/father. Maybe I'm just a sucker for tragic stories that end ambiguously hopeful. 4 out of 5 collies remember more than you imagine.

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