Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Little Match Girl (Cyberpunk Fairy Tales), by George Saoulidis (author), Steve White (narrator)

Mythography Studios, May 2019

This is, just as it says, a cyberpunk retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's story. In this retelling, the "matches" are single-use VR "experiences," created by her now-deceased father. Her father lost his job, and thus all his tools, but he still had the rights to the VR experiences he created on his own time. Then he died, and the girl's mother died, and the only thing she has left to sell now, and survive on, are these single-use VR experiences.

Some of them are recordings of happy experiences at home, before her father lost his job. But since these are single-use experiences, each can only be used once. She can either sell it, or use it for a brief escape into a warm, happy memory.

Once used, either by herself or a customer, it's gone.

It's a moving, well-done story--with an ending, inevitable and appropriate, that may not be what everyone wants, in the midst of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, recommended.

I received this audiobook short story as part of a "we're caught in a pandemic; let's do something nice" giveaway, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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