READ IT HERE: "Reflections"
BY:Pablo A Castro
IN:Words Without Borders
Genre: Science Fiction
Chilean writer Pablo Castro's science fiction story has an interesting texture produced by the way it moves backwards and forwards in time and through different realities.
The title "Reflections" refers not just to the narrator's thoughts about his life, but also to the method, which has become widespread and dominant in his society, of producing digital copies, or reflections, of people, those who have died. It's a way of preserving their memory when there is no room to bury them anymore and so no graves to visit. These reflections live in a reflected world, and there the living can interact with them, even touch them.
The company that creates the reflections, which calls itself VIP (and what a wonderful name for such a company) insists that they are real. But they would say that. The scene in which a VIP representative exerts all sorts of psychological pressure on the narrator to keep him paying to keep his reflections going is chillingly close to real life advertising pressure.
Meanwhile, real society is becoming increasingly grim, which is another factor that gives this story its texture.