Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Exit Without Saving" by Ruth Nestvold

“Exit Without Saving” is the story of Mallory, an operative of the Softec Corporation. The United States government has fractured into geographic zones controlled by large corporations. Corporate espionage is all the rage, and it is Mallory’s job to commit it. Softec has developed a new technology that allows their operatives to create clones and insert their own intelligence into them. They use this technology to clone the corporate officers of their competitors in order to gain access to privileged information and trade secrets. It is called morphing, and it can be addictive and very dangerous.

“Exit Without Saving” is the first story I have read by Ms. Nestvold, and it has the feel of an old episode of The Twilight Zone. It is technology based, but it also has meaning in the form of identity. Ms. Nestvold examines not only the fragile sense of identity, but she takes it one step further by making the point that sometimes one must escape identity. I enjoyed “Exit Without Saving” very much, and as I read it, it reminded me why I read anthologies—often you find the most interesting stories and discover great new writers. And Ruth Nestvold is a writer I plan to keep an eye on.

“Exit Without Saving” originally appeared in Futurismic in 2006. It is also currently available in the anthology Science Fiction: Best of the Year 2007 edition, edited by Rich Horton.

To read this story online at Futurismic click Here

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