The Last Witness, by K. J. Parker

Second paragraph of third section:

We heard all about you, the old man said, the stuff you can do. Is it true?

I picked this up as a recommendation from one of the lists of novellas that should have been on the 2015 Hugo ballot, though in fact this didn't make the top 15. I don't think I was aware at the time that K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt, best known for his comic fantasy. This is not comic at all. It's a grimly convincing story of a man who is able to extract and delete specific memories from other people, but with the consequence that he himself retains those memories; and he never forgets. He's not a pleasant character, but it's a very well-drawn story, and would probably have got a vote from me if it had been on any list I could have voted for. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2015. Next on that list is A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff, by Neil Gaiman.


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