“Just Another Perfect Day” by John Varely

You’ve probably heard that old writing advice that second-person (“you”) narrative voice is a difficult style to pull off. It is difficult, but every now and then someone writes a story that just nails it.

Just Another Perfect Day,” which you can listen to for free at Lightspeed Magazine, is a rare example of a story that not only gets it right but couldn’t be told any other way. The pacing is also brilliant. The way the story reveals itself to you in bits and pieces that gradually build up into a complete picture is like unwrapping a present and finding another present inside, and another, and another. And it just gets better and better. The themes (cognition and memory) are some of my favorites, and the world-building is also expertly done. Anyway, I won’t ruin it for you by giving anything else away, but consider me a brand-spanking new John Varely fan.

The full text of this story is available at Lightspeed Magazine, but I recommend listening to the audio. Stefan Rudnicki’s narration truly adds something to it.

When I looked up this author, I discovered that this story has been published in his collection, The John Varely Reader. No one really needed to twist my arm to read more of his work, but after reading the glowing Amazon reviews I am putting his book on my already-giant wish list, despite the punch-in-the-face price.

 

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