Remembering Melody (1981) by George R. R. Martin

A captivating, effective psychological horror short story.

Martin delivers a sharp, disturbing take on the idea of imbalanced friendships, and the discomfort that comes from friends stuck in an earlier stage of their lives when one has moved on. Broken promises also play a big part, as do the different levels of seriousness different people ascribe to promises.

The horror elements don’t come to the fore until late in the story, which I like, as it leaves plenty of room for Martin to be in his element with just characterisation.

rememberingmelody

The ending isn’t one of Martin’s best, and he’s done plenty scarier, but it’s still a good ending to the story. My favourite parts were the earlier bits though, when Martin was just doing strong work setting up the characters and their connections. It felt very real. I give the story three broken promises, and a plate of Chinese food.

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