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What Sorrow and Knowledge defines The History Within Us

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Clarkesworld Magazine - Issue 42
The History Within Us
Matthew Kressel

In a future 6000 years from now Betsy Haadama watches an old black and white silent film. A strange beginning but one that quickly evolves into a rich world full of strange aliens and a tragic history of not only the galaxy and every alien life from in it but of Betsy herself. For she is perhaps the last human alive and what is she to do while waiting for the last sun in the Milky Way galaxy to go nova and turn into a black hole, perhaps taking her and the aliens with it into another universe, or so they believe.

This stunning story is told from the perspective of Betsy and flows along with her thoughts. The story cleanly focusing on the present while slowly lapsing into past events as her mind wanders and jumps coming to terms with what she has done and what is important to her. Matthew Kressel‘s smooth, imaginative but compelling writing style allows you to feel the deep emotional lethargy and turmoil that is going on in Betsy’s mind as alien life forms influence her to remember and think upon her actions and her abandonment of her husband Julio as the star Afsasat went super nova.

In this story humanity has evolved to the point where they have developed a form of telekinesis that allows them to control and shape matter and the world they live in. The diversity in interests in humanity caused individuals to venture down different paths with Betsy’s ancestors transcribing their history in their genetics so that each descendant can feel and remember every moment of their parents, grandparents and great great grandparents lives. All the way back to 6000 years prior when the original recorder decided to pass on the films and pictures of his life onto his kid starting the history that eventually turned into gene based memory.

The History Within Us is a story that will twist and burrow itself among your thoughts with its richly imagined and written world and characters. It’s richly filled plot contains love, lost, genocide, revenge, and war among its emotionally filled pages. Head on over to Clarkesworld magazine and read The History Within us today, it will be sure to haunt your thoughts for many hours if not days to come.

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