An antimeme is an idea with self-censoring properties ; an idea which, by its intrinsic nature, discourages or prevents people from spreading it.
Antimemes are real. Think of any piece of information which you wouldn't share with anybody, like passwords, taboos and dirty secrets. Or any piece of information which would be difficult to share even if you complex equations, very boring passages of text, large blocks of random numbers, and dreams... But anomalous antimemes are another matter entirely. How do you contain something you can't record or remember? How do you fight a war against an enemy with effortless, perfect camouflage, when you can never even know that you're at war? Welcome to the Antimemetics Division. No, this is not your first day.
This ebook is an official release by me, qntm from the SCP Foundation wiki! PM me if you require confirmation. This ebook collects all of my Antimemetics Division SCP-055, SCP-2256 and the complete serials There Is No Antimemetics Division and Five Five Five Five Five.
I'm resisting the urge to write any sort of in-universe or knowing wink of a review, and you should too. It would be like whipping out your recorder and tooting along to a symphony orchestra.
This is a fantastic exploration of a particular SF/horror subgenre by the master himself. There are precursors and adjacent fiction - Langford's BLIT, the concept of "infohazards", The Laundry Files - but this is just on a different level.
Partly thanks to its origins on the web via the SCP Foundation project, the story is told in a series of vignettes, requiring the reader to deduce and piece together the whole story in their mind (until they can dimly perceive the vast outlines of...)
The text is philosophically interesting and narratively engaging. The horror will hit you in the guts, but also eat away slowly at your mind as you puzzle away at the implications (Thomas Ligotti retire binch!)
To say this is just typical of a qntm production is only to point out that he's consistently excellent.
It's only 200-odd pages long and a couple of quid on Google Play. In terms of various ratios (enjoyment/page, enjoyment/price, mindblows/page) this is probably the best book I've read this year. Go buy it!
These stories scared the crap out of me. I think the idea of memes that are self-camouflaging, that eliminate their own traces, reflects a deep existential unease and questions about epistemological uncertainty, in a moment when 40% of Americans are lost in conspiracy theories, compounded by the near certainty of a future in which we will be able to manipulate perception and memory in a far more profound way. How do we fight an enemy that denies its own existence?
This book reads like the Laundry Files weird older sibling.
Time jumps and memory gaps are used effectively to convey the struggle against inhuman threats to memory and identity.
The plot spirals inward, sprinkling clues like breadcrumbs for you to piece together. If you like that kind of thing (as I do) it's great. But if you are looking for a fast-paced read with spoon-fed information, then this is not the tale you are looking for.
As a premise, fantastic. Full of interesting ideas and some great storytelling, especially when focusing on human interactions. However, in broad sweep a disappointing book. If you start from an interesting logical premise, then add a shaky idea on top, then continue stacking shaky ideas one after the other, then eventually you get to a point where anything is true, and any statement you make about the storyline can possibly be true as well - but you have no way of knowing.
The idea is absolutely brilliant. Its implication on the story are refreshing and very amusing. The story gets mind-bending and the twists are pure pleasure. Honestly "The is no ..." is the most refreshing SF story I've read in a long time. At least the initial 50-60%. The final part gets very abstract - it's not a real world with a crazy twist anymore - the implications of the changes introduced by author are so deep and far-going that it pretty much loses the connection with the reality we can and that makes the book even more abstract. In my case it made me lose my interest.
Nevertheless, I recommend this one wholeheartedly: * it's short, pure meat * it's cheap * it's unique * it's brilliant
“There is No Antimemetics Division” by qntm is the best kind of science fiction. It’s the kind that asks a smart question about the way the world could be and then answers it. It explores consequences – turning complicated scenarios into narratives that leap off of the page and bury themselves at the back of your mind and the bottom of your gut. It’s also deliciously gross and horrific, and oddly touching. It’s not a book without faults (the ending got a little out-there, even for me), but a perfect book to me, is a book that I finish and then want to read again. This is a story that's interested in the human ramifications of a smart problem and it hopes the audience is too. It was a thrilling, refreshing, and thought-provoking ride.
Truly original science fiction is rare, but somehow qntm has stuck on a whole vein of new ideas. This antimemetics concept is brilliant. There is a Lovecraftian element here, sure, and a whole host of other influences, but the way this narrative is told, and the intellectual core of it is really something that I've never encountered before.
This is a story about creatures that feed on information and memories, such that half of this novel is about people trying to guard their own memories - they are constantly remembering and forgetting. The plot is necessarily fragmentary to accomodate this. At first this book felt more like a collection of short stories than a novel, but that feeling didn't stick around. This is a novel, and all the little details are relevant.
I had never heard of qntm before I bought this book yesterday. To my shame, I just picked it up because I liked the cover and the title sounded cool. It's good to take a chance on something now and again. But in the end, I was really surprised. This is some of the best science fiction that I've read in a long while.
Surprisingly good -- easily the best work of fiction related to SCP (which is mostly mediocre Reddit-teenager creepypasta), though maybe there are some gems out there that I'm not aware of.
Quite good for sci-fi, less impressive as actual literature, but I've slowly learned to lower my standards and just go along for the ride, when possible; the prose is just good enough to not be distractingly bad, and for a self-published $0.99 Kindle novel . . . I mean, I'll take it.
The idea/non-idea of antimemetics has been addressed before -- in the Laundry Files and other middling-at-best SF, and most memorably in one of my favorite short stories of all time (Rick Moody's 2003 "The Albertine Notes") -- but Antimemetics Division takes the concept in a clever Lovecraftian pop-SF direction.
The idea was indeed brilliant but because of it's scattered structure and intentional plot holes I had trouble immersing in it. Each time things started to line up and make sense, author jumped elsewhere in time/memory space therefore it was exploited too far up to a point where unfortunately I didn't care too much about the characters or the plot.
Aaa, kaip seniai taip PRAMOGAVAU, skaitydama knygą! Susiskaito vienu prisėdimu (kuris gali išsitęsti iki paryčių, žiūrint, kada pradėsi), stilius kaip iš "nosleep" subreddito, o prielaida baisiai įdomi.
Įvelka į tą pasaulį nuo pirmų skyrių, kurie pristato ir personažus, ir grėsmes, su kuriomis jie susiduria. O grėsmės yra IDĖJOS, t.y. kitokį egzistavimo būdą turinčios esybės, kurios pasireiškia kaip sparčiai plintantys parazitai, kaip atminties valgytojai, ar galų gale kaip kolosalus priešas, su kuriuo reikia kovoti ne tik jo nematant, bet ir nesuvokiant - nes vos suvokus, kad jis egzistuoja, jis suvokia ir tave (na, ir iškart užmuša, aišku). +labai faina pagrindinė veikėja!
Lovecraftian horror, bet visąlaik kažkaip smagu ar net juokinga, toks jausmas, kad autorius(-ė) linksminosi rašydama(s).
The scary thing about this book is that I'm not entirely convinced that it's fiction.
This will undoubtedly be haunting my nightmares for years to come. So yes, it is scary. However, it is also excellent. Intriguing, fast paced, surprisingly well written for the length/pace/genre. The opening 5 chapters are the best by far.
I don't want to tell you anything, just go read it. Not before bed though. My brain is still reeling. I'm going to go shelve this somewhere outside of my direct eyeline. Out of sight out of mind?
Overall this is a great novel. It's confusing at times but it's awesome. This novel is linked to SCP foundation project (it's basically a a non-official shared world with no marketing value but have countless writers and stories witin). Each SCP is mystery, something odd, a monster and problem to humanity and the Foundation work it out.
This novel deals with antimemetics and although they try to explain several times in the end I can't even understand fully. You have to read it to understand. BTw, the novel is divided in two parts, I prefer the first part. The second part is a bit confusing and I kept losing myself on what was happening. The main issue is the situation of memory loss, memory gain, then after all are fake memories and so so, and you keep failing to understand what is real or not.
I will buy more from this author. They are cheap books. this guy is not interested in money to publish. He wants the books out.
Fun little book about the SCP Foundation. Can't be lengthy on it's descriptions sometimes. On the Wiki I feel it is much more to the point but, again, it's down to personal preference. The story is about a concept that is hard to understand until, well, you do. It's kinda like a magic switch. The book has multiple "side-stories" that explain the main narrative, it can be a a little confusing and I would hope for a more linear approach given the complexity of the villain itself.
I had high hopes for this book. It could have been so much better. The basic premise was outstanding; how do you fight something that changes your memory? Wonderfully original concept. The author played with the character’s memory but also threw in some time-travel as well. Unfortunately for me, the novel’s back and fourth structure became confusing and rather frustrating in the second half of the book, and I usually enjoy this kind of stuff. I give the author points for opening our doors of perception, but I couldn’t grasp an overarching theme. But that’s just me. I would still recommend reading this book; it has much to offer.
A friend and I watched season 2 of The Witcher recently. It was great, we enjoyed almost every minute of it even though most of our live texts while watching the show basically amount to, "I have no idea what's happening, but I love it!"
Like The Witcher, where my only experience is with the world is the TV show, I went into this book knowing nothing at all about qntm, or the SCP Foundation. I have no context for this story, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all.
Though the pieces of the science and technology were largely unintelligible to me, the whole of it came together to create a rich mosaic of a world, with a compelling plot and twisty structure. The structure of the book adds to the displacement and confusion in the first third of the book, but this is one of those stories that wouldn't have worked half as well in a linear narrative.
I don't know how to review this book (clearly). I am not going to attempt to summarise it because I would do a rubbish, spoiler-filled job of it. What I will say is there are many reasons why this book shouldn't have worked for me, but somehow it totally worked. I don't even like horror (in any format)! So much so that I stopped reading the book halfway in hoping I'd be able to forget the story and move on. Yet here we are, almost a year later, and I've finished the book in one sitting, the story so fresh in my head I didn't even have to re-read it to catch up to where I left off. I suspect I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time and piecing together bits of plot at completely unexpected times.
All in all, this is a very cool book and a compelling read. If you like your sci-fi hard, confusing and with a terrifying non-human villains, this is the book for you.
"SCP-3125 is adapted for survival in an ideatic ecology considerably more violent and hostile than our own. (Here, "our own" refers to human head space: the set of all ideas which human have or are biologically capable of having.)"
Very spooky and brilliantly original in it's existentialist horror but a little kitschy when it comes to the more pedestrian action sequences which are flush with Shyamalan mind-games and cheesy punchlines. This wanes noticeably as the novel progresses and the climax is absolutely incredible. qntm profoundly develops characters with a few brief strokes, colouring what is otherwise a very grim story with layers of poignance and meaning and this is what makes the cosmic horror all the more terrifying, when we see the devastating effects of this cosmic entity on normal people.
The events that led me to this book can be considered disturbing, to say the least. I don't have any regrets though, only some doubts that I'm trying to forget.
The book can be considered mind-altering, that is, if you believe in concepts such as "self" and a singular "mind". Some parts of it read like a postmodern H. P. Lovecraft, during which I struggled to keep my grasp of the reality.
I keep on wondering about the blackened, or should I say "censored", parts. Maybe it's in everyone's interest that those parts never enter our consciousness. Memory is a strange thing, sometimes very fragile.
I feel like I've been scooped for the second time this year. Maybe that's a good thing.
I read this online through the website it was originally posted. This is a super original, horror/sci-fi novel with an interesting premise: How do you fight something you can’t think about? It was cool, and very enjoyable!
Definitely one of those books that you just have to let wash over you and not ask too many questions, and just allow your deeper subconscious to figure it all out. The logically strict aspie side of myself often finds this difficult so I really had to resist going over every word over and over again... so if anything this was a good bit of brain training. Did I enjoy it? Maybe not as much as I'd like to. I think this one deserves a reread though.
A concept as convoluted as this could easily get bogged down and become narratively unsatisfying, but the author is skilled enough to avoid going too heavy on the mind bending aspects while still making them integral to the identity of the work. The end is not quite as strong as the middle and beginning, but does well enough as a wrap up to a delightfully unsettling journey.
The director of an ultra clandestine agency which is in charge of battling antimemes attempts to solve a puzzle which, by its nature is something she cannot remember. We jump around in time at various points in her life as small pieces are made known.
If you’ve played the video game Control there are some aspects of this that are familiar. Objects that are usually innocuous have other properties that relate to these creatures that are not just in the peripheral, they cannot be perceived at all, without assistance. The agents of The Foundation have a drug that allows them to perceive some of these forces and therefor interact and combat them in various ways. But there are things far more complex than that at play that threaten the world.
It’s frenetic in pacing for the first half and then almost meandering in the second. It retreads ground sometimes, annoyingly. And the quality of the prose is often uneven. There’s show-don’t-tell problems and a lack of a cohesive structure due to the framing device and, probably, the serialization of the content to begin with on the SCP Foundation Wiki page.
It can be extremely fun to read at times because of the conceptual ideas and their role in the plot. Everything, essentially, is resolved via deus ex machina. Little to no foreshadowing used allows for any real kind of pleasure in the resolutions though, aside from the ending, which wove together some seemingly disparate threads. Most of the time the reaction I had was that it was an interesting idea and often pretty cinematic. And it kind of has to be because none of the unique content can actually be explained. This allows for a lot of latitude with the author with plot beats and devices, but also gives it a fan fiction feel sometimes and becomes very repetitive.
Had the end chapter not brought together some of the threads from previous chapters, especially after instituting vastly different pacing and a reframing of point of view midway through, this would have been a 2 star read. Ultimately, while sophomoric and solipsistic—especially with thin characterization—I do feel like it had original ideas and that the macro ones were executed well.
If you like Charles Stross's "Atrocity Archives" or Doctor Who's "The Silence" story arc, you're going to love "There Is No Antimemetics Division".
It explores the idea of what would an anti-meme war look like. I understand that the story was originally serialized on a blog, but it fits together pretty well. The final act was great, but just shy of mind-blowing.
I give 5 stars sparingly, but I knew this deserved one just 50 pages in. Overall, a great addition to my new sci-fi canon, because this story stays with me. I think about it during the day, and I feel like it shifts my perspective in an interesting way. I intended to ship it to my fellow-sci-fi-loving mom after I was done, but it's got more Lovecraftian gore and body horror than she'd like.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
" An anti-meme is an idea with self-censoring properties; an idea which, by its intrinsic nature, discourages or prevents people from spreading it.”
This a very clever and strong premise, but not one that is easy to execute. In fact it just begs for paradoxes and potholes. And I am sure the cleverer people here will have plenty to complain about. I however don’t, far from it. I was always pleasantly surprised at the direction the stories went. The second half of the book where stories focus on one big threat are not as fantastic as the beginning, but still very good. Overall it is a short book and it doesn’t focus on developing the characters. In fact, they are as barebones as you can get. Which is not bad, this kind of approach sacrifices potential highs for pace and focus on the premise. This book is to literature what “The Outer Wilds” was to video games. Something that comes along and is so good that it makes me smile when thinking that after work I get to read/play some more. And just like that game it certainly is not for everyone, and I understand that. It doesn’t scratch a lot of itches. Luckily due to it being a collection of short stories available online for free it is incredibly easy to ascertain if you will like it. That is why I haven’t wasted time in describing the plot.
It’s these kinds of books that showcase the biggest advantage the written word has over all other media. The relative low cost and time investment of writing, allows the exploration of all kinds of weird and original ideas that would otherwise be hard to sell if millions were at stake. It’s why books have made almost all other media dull. Though ironically I think this could be easily made in to a television show.