DiscoverTime Travel

Note to Self


Worth reading 😎

Disturbing and thought-provoking. This is a rather sinister take on a future of social media influencers and inequality.

In a post-modern world, Kry has experienced a reset to preserve his youthfulness in a world obsessed with youth and beauty. The novel delivers on exploring “the science of vanity” as promised in the synopsis. Vanity is explored sexually, physically, economically, and more, in its worst imagined ways. Note to Self is a well-written and engaging read, but not for the faint of heart going in. Described as a retelling of HG Wells’ The Time Machine, I’m sure reading that work prior provides some context for the relations in this story.

When I started reading, I wasn’t sure whether to imagine Kry as male or female because it wasn’t made clear until later. The fixation with beauty and eternal youth and the skimpy clothes after the reset made me think woman, but it makes sense that the author waits to reveal Kry’s gender. In this world, vanity goes both ways and is displayed in meFaces⎼ phones and slams⎼ posts. Men and women are equally obsessed with appearances, and those who don’t fit the beauty standard⎼ curvy women and chiseled men⎼ are cast to the outskirts of the city.

What struck me most was the eroticism and spontaneity of sex. Voyeurism is a common thing, like shaking hands, and people watch others have sex with each other in live time for fun. Be warned that there are triggering scenes throughout. Also, everything is done for the approval of others and under the General Manager’s directive. The General Manager is a Big Brother-like figure who can’t be reached directly or criticized. Though he is supposed to be benevolent and provide for everyone's needs, the quality of food and drinks and the shunning of anyone less beautiful proves otherwise. oYo, Kry’s female companion, is another one to watch for as a suspicious character.

From Kry’s reset onward, his journey becomes more familiar toward the end of his run defying herd-mentality and conformity, despite his upper-class status in a self-centered society. There were many similarities I made with real current events and influencer culture. This wasn’t quite for me, but Note to Self is a good read for fans of layered story-telling and futuristic sci-fi.

Reviewed by

I like to write about a wide range of topics, but I'd also like to write more about books that have impacted me. Reading is close to my heart, so it would bring me joy to guide others toward good reads and hidden gems.

The Welcome

About the author

Mark wrote weekly and monthly technology columns in newspapers and magazines, funding a noncommittal path through university, studying a range of topics including Robotics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Psychology. He now writes off-beat science fiction. Some have won awards. view profile

Published on December 01, 2020

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Time Travel

Reviewed by