December 28, 2019

In one sentence: Uncanny Valley by Greg Egan

Uncanny Valley is a short story about our need to hide the truth and our quest for selfdiscovery.

As Adam turned toward him, his mind went roaming down the darkness of the alley, impatiently following the glistening thread, unable to shake off the sense of urgency that told him: Take hold of this now, or it will be lost forever. He didn’t need to linger in their beds for long; just a few samples of that annihilating euphoria were enough to stand in for all the rest. Maybe that was the engine powering everything that followed, but what it dragged along behind it was like a newlyweds’ car decorated by a thousand exuberant well-wishers.

He tried grabbing the rattling cans of their fights, running his fingers over the rough texture of all the small annoyances and slights, mutually wounded pride, frustrated good intentions. Then he felt the jagged edge of a lacerating eruption of doubt.

But something had happened that blunted the edge, then folded it in on itself again and again, leaving a seam, a ridge, a scar. Afterward, however hard things became, there was no questioning the foundations. They’d earned each other’s trust, and it was unshakeable.

He strode toward the gate, wheeling a single suitcase. Away from the shelter of the old man’s tomb, he’d have no identity of his own to protect him, but he’d hardly be the first undocumented person who’d tried to make it in this country.

December 28, 2019


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