Dixon Reuel has written a thought-provoking short story that manages to create a cold dystopian world and a tale with a deeper meaning. I imagined the images from ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘2012’ and wondered how implausible another ice age is. It is perversely entertaining to consider how that would play out.
In a land where snow and ice have changed the landscape to an extent where whole countries are buried under skyscraper-sized snowdrifts, Captain Rina has been contracted by Dickie Conrad to retrieve a hard drive from a computer within the old headquarters of Conrad Enterprises, now buried deep in a glacier.
When they descend through the ice in Rina’s snowsub and arrive at the office of Dickie Conrad, there is one goal – retrieve the hard disk and get out, and one rule – do not touch anything unnecessarily, especially the keyboard with unprotected hands. The reason is that the spectre of a person can reside in these old buildings and better not to encounter them. Conrad has other thoughts and perhaps his spectre knows something about him.
In our world where so much time is spent on computers how much of a person’s essence is tied (or trapped) in the computers they use. If part of the human spirit, or harmemoric resonance, resides in equipment that is used on a daily basis, would it wish to be reunited if an individual was an evil or dishonest person? Given a choice would it request asylum if the recombination could be forced? Could it have its own soul?
Harmemoric Asylum is read in about 20 – 30 minutes yet sent my mind racing at a number of levels over the next few hours. The story is well written and flows at a great pace throughout. I would recommend reading this book and I’d like to thank Dixon Reuel for providing me with a copy of her book in return for an honest review.