The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling

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"The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" is a science fiction story by American writer Ted Chiang. It was first published in 2013 in Subterranean Press.


In the near future, a journalist observes how the world, his daughter, and he himself are affected by "Remem", a form of lifelogging whose advanced search algorithms effectively grant its users eidetic memory of everything that ever happened to them, and the ability to perfectly and objectively share those memories. In a parallel narrative strand, a Tiv man is one of the first of his people to learn to read and write, and discovers that this may not be compatible with oral tradition.


"Truth" was a finalist for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.[1] Charlie Jane Anders compared it to Black Mirror,[2] and Gary K. Wolfe described it as a "deeply thoughtful meditation."[3] Strange Horizons assessed the narrator's tone as "imperfect" and a "mimicry" of journalism, with the near-future narrative "overreach(ing)" and "fail(ing) to find its balance", and plot revelations that feel "unbelievable rather than shocking",[4] while called it "compelling" and "an elegant, technical piece", but conceded that it is "slow moving".[5]


  1. ^ 2014 Hugo Awards, at; retrieved January 21, 2017
  2. ^ This new Ted Chiang short story could change your life, by Charlie Jane Anders, at io9; published October 25, 2013; retrieved January 21, 2017
  3. ^ Science fiction roundup: 'Authority,' year's best collections, by Gary K. Wolfe, in the Chicago Tribune; published June 20, 2014; retrieved January 21,2017
  4. ^ Short Fiction Snapshot #7: "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" by Ted Chiang, reviewed by Abigail Nussbaum, at Strange Horizons; published March 3, 2014; retrieved January 21, 2017
  5. ^ Short Fiction Spotlight: “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang, by Lee Mandelo, at; published December 3, 2013; retrieved January 21, 2017

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