Reviews: Analog Science Fiction & Fact Sci-Fi Short Stories Short Fiction Reviews

‘Soft We Wake’ Short Review

Soft We Wake features an expertly crafted story of the future, showing a woman trying to come to terms with her new reality. Imagine lying down in a pod, preparing to be woken up a few decades from now, only to be delayed by centuries or a millennia. It’s a thought that’s both exciting and terrifying. The prospect of living the future after knowing the past has a sense of scientific fascination. Everything would be different, potentially better. Cultures, societies, countries, all of it would most likely have changed. The terrifying aspect comes from realizing you are an extinct life form. Even if humanity continues to populate the planet, a human from hundreds of years prior would be the equivalent of a caveman. Minds and bodies would have evolved, technology would have run rampant, creating any number of changes to the human form. 

In the story, we find a middle ground between exciting and terrifying. Our protagonist doesn’t wake to a hellscape but in a rest home populated by understanding, caring beings. There are others from her time, all of them frozen long ago. The world seems to have become an enormous city, completely modernized, at least in our definition of the phrase. People are entirely different, startlingly so at times. Bodies can be modified, organs replaced, and everyone speaks through an implanted communication network. I imagine the world to be a surprisingly silent place. We see the dilemma this character faces as she tries to decide if she wants to rejoin the world. Is it worth living another life if the world you know and the people you love are long gone? 

In the end, Soft We Wake presents the heartfelt journey of a woman torn between two times. We see the agony of remembering those she loved, the heartbreak of realizing she’ll never see them again, and the eventual acceptance that to live is to deal with loss and keep going, even if the world has moved on without you. 

Soft We Wake

Written by S.B. Divya
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
January/February 2019


Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: