A Threnody for Hazan by Ray Nayler, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2018

This is a longer piece, a novelette, that I’m unsure if I completely understood.

The premise goes like this. There is this thing called the shroud, which looks sorta like a heatwave but is actually someone’s consciousness floating around or tethering to an object, building or otherwise.

asf_marapr2018_400x570This was made possible by a scientist named Hazan. The narrator is Hazan’s lover and sidekick, who, while completely in love with her, possesses loyalty enough to send her to a potential death.

See the shroud can travel between time periods, so Hazan keeps going back to see parts of the second world war, in Budapest. The problem is, often, as part of the shroud, your consciousness becomes part of the woodwork, so to speak, like cobbles stones or something, and if the cobblestones are broken into pieces, you lose part of your consciousness as well. I think you probably know where this is going.

This story is about other states of being, beyond that of what we would deem human. It’s also about how poor memory is and how we can’t ever truly know what happened in the past, even if we were there at the time. While this is what I think it’s about, I also have some doubts. Some of the concepts in this story really strained my comprehension. (C)


2 thoughts on “A Threnody for Hazan by Ray Nayler, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2018

    1. Hi Ray, that would be really awesome, actually. If you have time, I’d love to send you some questions about the piece, and you as a writer to post on the blog. Would that be something you might have time for? I know life is busy.


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