Monday, March 12, 2018

Reader's Diary #1759- Doretta Lau: Best Practices for Time Travel

It's kind of fascinating to me that Doretta Lau's short story "Best Practices for Time Travel" opens with a quote from Louis C.K. I cannot find a year on the story, but I believe it was written in 2016. It was only last year that the revelations about Louis C.K.'s repulsive behaviour hit mainstream media, though many remarked at the time that it hadn't exactly been a close guarded secret. Whether Lau had heard of it when she wrote the story or not, it makes for an even more powerful statement in 2018 to open with one of his quotes. It certainly accentuates the theme of the story.

For those expecting a sci-fi story, as I was, you may be disappointed that it doesn't quite deliver on that front, but you might also be pleasantly surprised, as I was, in the idea behind the story: would a woman or minority even want to time travel? Things aren't exactly great for them in the present, would the past be even worse?

The story serves as an important reminder of things (pressures, prejudices, etc) that others (such as white males like me) often take for granted. Even among minority groups that may relate on many things (in the story they all advise against reading the comments), each person is still an individual with unique questions and struggles.

I also enjoyed the story as a chance to "eavesdrop" on a discussion I'd normally not be a part of. Though, I also like the point in the story when the narrator talks about fetishism of other cultures.

It's a very thought provoking piece.

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