Remade episode 13 season 1: Memories of Arcadia

Memories of Arcadia Book Cover Memories of Arcadia
ReMade #1.13
Andrea Phillips
YA, Science fiction
November 7 2016

Arcadia knows what it means to be lonely; she’s had no visitors for an awfully long time. So when a group of haggard teens tumble unto her streets, she welcomes then with open arms and plays host the best she can remember. Of course, they have no idea she’s there watching, listening, helping. But she doesn’t mind – after all, hers is half lost anyway.

So this episode has a brand new point of view - that of the mystery city, whose name turns out to be Arcadia. We get to see how carefully it chose that name, a very long time ago, and how its circumstances have changed, over a terribly long span of time.  Of course, we're not told the whole story. There are two episodes left, after all...

But, um, a city run by a master AI? Squee! Remade already had awesome robots, but... AI! I'm so pleased by this.

Through Arcadia's eyes, we also get to see the teenagers as they settle in, and, of course, argue about whether or not they should settle in, or just keep moving. There's no way to know if danger is following them, or if help might be waiting somewhere else, or if the entire planet is as empty as the city is. 

That doesn't mean life grinds to a stop.  Not for Gabe and May,  and not for Hyrum, who is painfully aware that it would be Christmas now, if things were as they should have been.  (And who else is awfully curious about Hyrum and how he died before being remade?)  There's Cole, still keeping secrets, and there's chocolate chip cookies.

This is the first time we get to view the group at a bit of a distance, which feels... ominous, perhaps. Or it just feels like the climax-buildup it clearly is, according to the episode schedule. (Like I said, two episodes left!)  I really hope for a massive infodump to come, though... I should probably start preparing for the possibility of having to wait for the next season to get all the answers.  Not that I know if there'll be a next season, but it seems like a reasonable assumption!

Nightmares: A new decade of modern horror, edited by Ellen Datlow

Nightmares: A new decade of modern horror Book Cover Nightmares: A new decade of modern horror
Ellen Datlow (editor)
Tachyon publications
November 1 2016

Ooh, look. Another horror anthology! I apparently read quite a number of them, and yet, Nightmares: A new decade of modern horror stands out from the rest.  This is partly because many of the stories wander over that line that separate entertainment-horror from needs a set of trigger warnings-horror.  It's probably good to be prepared for that, because going unknowingly from a ghost story to a tale of various kinds of child abuse can be upsetting.

Good horror can be upsetting.  It isn't always, or even most of the time, but it's definitely a part of the thematic landscape.  I'm not normally shaken by zombies and body snatchers and whatnot - but this anthology offered not just one, but many stories still haunting me weeks after reading.

So, well. I'll mention some of my favourites - not necessarily the most shocking, just the ones I personally liked best:

"Closet dreams" by Lisa Tuttle is bleak and awful. A young girl has been kidnapped and is held captive, a very long time, in a closet. Expertly written, and definitely one of the stories I can't get out of my head.

"The Goosle" by Margo Lanagan is a dark fantasy - Hansel without Gretel, a few years after the first visit to the witch's house.  Everything is really enormously grimdark, but the witch's special diet is the least of the terrible things.

"Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones - a clear favourite of mine! This story sits firmly in the aisle of fun-horror, introducing us to a classic snake oil-salesman in the old west, travelling from town to town.  He never revisits a town he's been to, with good reason.  Not that there'd be anyone left to recognise him, but still.

"The Shallows" by John Langan was a strange thing - it reminded me a little bit of Elizabeth Knox's "Wake", in that the story's present time is set after what was obviously a hideous apocalypse event - but in this story, the event must have been somewhat... Lovecraftian.  It is that flavour of weird, and I liked it a lot - I would have liked to explore this world at length, like, in a novel. 

"Shay Corsham Worsted" by Garth Nix - this story instantly made me add the author to my list of authors I need to read more of,  which is the kind of reaction I always hope to get from a short story.  An old man tries to stop a dangerous old military weapon from destroying everything, but he can't get through, the records are lost, and no one will believe him.  No one will recognise this particular weapon for what it is, just by looking at it...

Yep. Great anthology. Go get it if you feel like you could go for a smorgasboard of horror authors to further fatten your to-read shelf with.