Friday, February 3, 2017
Deal Me In Week #5: "Border Guards"
This is my first year participating in Jay's Deal Me In Challenge . In a nutshell--we line up 52 short stories for the year, we match those stories up to a card in a regular deck of card, and each week we shuffle our deck (of real cards) and draw a card from whatever remains in the deck. Week #5 gives me "Border Guards" by Greg Egan, found in the 17th Annul Collection of The Year's Best Science Fiction (2000) edited by Gardner Dozois.
This story gives readers a different twist on the subject of eternal life. Jamil, our narrator, lives in a world where death has been banished. Those who tire of their current situation in immortality find ways to leave their current life and slip off to another town and another "lifetime" full of new friends and different experiences. Jamil is easilty depressed and has just come out of period where he was "dead" to his friends. When he starts playing virtual soccer with them again, he meets a brand-new player, Margit. Margit is exceptional--make goals that no one has ever made before. But she is exceptional in more ways than one. She is one of the oldest ones...and she knows what it means to lose someone to real death...not just the death of a current "life." The story touches on how we handle death, but more importantly it examines how we handle life.