REVIEW: “Doorway, Smile, Kiss, Fox” by Jeremy Packert Burke

Review of Jeremy Packert Burke, “Doorway, Smile, Kiss, Fox”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 311 (August 27, 2020): listen online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.

In this lovely and compelling story, Themis—a character presumably named after the Greek goddess of justice, wisdom, and good counsel—is his king’s sole mnemosyne.  By some “obscure alchemy,” a mnemosyne is able to “take on, in their entirety, the memories of generals, scientists, poets, doctors—any citizen marked great by the king’s council.”  

In theory, a mnemosyne is able to search this “living archive” of information and provide solutions to whatever catastrophes befall his city, and the king who rules it. Unfortunately, in this case the city is plagued by a catastrophe for which there is no solution. Buildings have seemingly taken on a life of their own, growing “the way trees, and love, and cancer do: too slow to see but constant.” Over time, however, the rate of growth is nothing short of alarming. Knowing there is no solution, Themis is convinced the king will soon have him killed. Where he finds consolation, even joy, in the face of imminent death, I’ll leave you to discover. 

Published by

Richard Lohmeyer

Richard Lohmeyer has been a technical/marketing writer for longer than he cares to admit to. He hopes to someday publish short fiction, as well. His favorite SF/F magazines include Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Tor. You can find him on Twitter @rkloh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.