There Is No Antimemetics Division
There Is No Antimemetics Division is a book based in the SCP universe. It explores the idea of anti-memes—ideas that either can’t be thought, quickly drop out of your memory when you stop focusing on them, or are dangerous to think—and how you might contain a force you literally can’t remember.
The book was written serially as a collection of short stories. The stories in the first half of the book are loosely related and mainly serve to give the reader some background on the characters, the foundation, and anti-memes. These were my favorite. The stories in the second half read more like chapters, all dealing with the same overarching event. I found these less compelling.
The short-story origins of the book means there are no wasted words and the plot moves quickly. Characters are introduced, obstacles show up within a page, and ten pages later there is a twist and a resolution. But this is also the book’s weakness. There is not much character development outside of the few who are indispensable to the plot. There isn’t much downtime, the tension just keeps ramping up. Likewise the world is like a stage: just wide enough to contain the action.
The sparsity and jumps backwards and forward through time sort of works with the theme of forgetting and only being able to see your adversary in the pattern of missing ideas and memories, but the execution feels a little clumsy. To tell a story in the negative space of the narrative takes careful planning that is absent.
Overall a fun read, it just wish there was a little more.