I came across another terrific little story in this month's Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. "City League" by Matthew Corradi is a marvelous little tale that combines two of my favorite things -- baseball and sci-fi. It is set in a future where the National Pastime has undergone some drastic changes but is still as familiar as ever, a popular sport that connects to fans' feelings of nostalgia.
The story unfolds through the eyes of a "mem splicer," an unassuming technician who dissects memories to determine if they are genuine or artificial. You see, in the future, memories have become a commodity to be bought and sold, so there's a big market in determining if what someone remembers (or claims to remember) is true. The lead character works for a company that aids insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, etc. in verifying that what people claim to be memories of their own experiences are indeed their own and not those of someone else.
While working on a case, our sympathetic narrator inadvertantly discovers that one of his own cherished childhood memories (going to a Detroit Tigers perfect game with his dad) may in fact have been planted from someone else.
Like all good science fiction, there are many wonderful "what if" moments and imaginative scenarios. The glue that holds it all together and makes it an exceptional tale is the heartfelt execution -- I connected to the baseball fanatic protagonist and his bond with his father.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is a great digest that always manages to deliver some thought-provoking and entertaining stories. Check your newsstands for the latest copy or subscribe to it digitally on your e-reader.