“The Weight of Memories”
by Cixin Liu
A review by weird speculative fiction writer Ted Fauster
This is a piece of short speculative fiction by Liu Cixin, whose name is also shown in publications as Cixin Liu. The original piece was written in Chinese and translated into English by Ken Liu.
The Weight of Memories begins as a conversation between a mother and her unborn child. What it evolves into becomes something so much more potent.
Liu provides a soft backdrop against which he paints a very clear picture that is both bold and brilliant. What begins as something sacred and dreamy, almost magical, slowly transforms into an unspeakable act so shocking it’s nearly impossible to imagine.
What I felt was shame, near the end. The shame of pretending to know the outcome of such a fantastical experiment. And I believe that’s Liu’s point. In our endless quest for knowledge and new achievements, are we losing bits and pieces of our humanity along the way? When does a human being stop being human? More importantly, will we ever be able to predict the outcomes of our endless thirst to improve?
The Weight of Memories is a brilliant and tragic piece of short speculative fiction that will open your eyes and make you question even the best of intentions. A shocking glimpse into the future.