Short Fiction Friday: Selfies

Selfies by Lavie Tidhar

"Selfies", by Lavie Tidhar, is a creepy little horror tale about the fate of a young woman who makes the mistake of a lifetime when she buys a new phone in the local mall.

It is only a few weeks back that I read a different but very interesting short story of Lavie Tidhar, Dragonkin. I found this story directly to my liking, the synopsis and build up of the story was unique and got me excited by it's less is more writing style. In the end this story for me had so much going on that I hope to see Lavie Tidhar exploring it even further. That aside, now its time for Selfies. I think I can now safely say that Lavie Tidhar is an author to watch out for, his stories will get you thinking and will scare you twice over. 

I have been thinking a lot of the current situation with always being connected on social media and the likes. It's unavoidable. One thing that is connected with all of this is of course your smartphone, yes no longer a cell phone or mobile, but a smartphone one that has much more technological capabilities than computers of a few years back. In Selfies Lavie Tidhar paints a very creepy and horrific picture (no pun intended) of when taking "selfies" goes out of control, but not by an addiction but by a recently bought phone. 

The story is set up in a unique way (one that I will also elaborate about when I review Lavie Tidhar's short story from Dangerous Games). The paragraphs are marked with hashtags (#) and since you know that the story focuses on taking picture this meant that this was the number of the picture (at least I think it was). Anyway, Lavie Tidhar begins his story with picture number 733, where you readsomething about a girl named Ellie who seems to be going mad. After this scene you have a short discussion of two people who knew Ellie and explain some of what happened. With this information in the back of your mind, Lavie Tidhar begins telling the remained of the story and starts at the first picture, everything seems normal but Ellie somehow feels obliged to take selfies from about everything she encounters and soon what starts as something fun runs out of control and Ellie doesn't know how to control it anymore. It even goes so far as that Ellie gets certain black-outs not really knowing what she did herself. And in the end all going back to that last picture...  

This story for me did press some boundaries especially with the backdrop of the story. What further makes Selfies unique is the way that the narration is done, the elaboration with each picture is told from Ellie's perspective likes she is telling this story from the other side or perhaps she hasn't died at all... but since she lost memory and sees emptiness in her eyes, she has become something of a mindless drone? I don't know but Lavie Tidhar does readily invite you to think about this and form your own opinion. 

As I have already said, you don't want to miss out on any of Lavie Tidhar's stories. They fast and relentless. 

Read the full story here 


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