Published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine September/October 2017 – read it online
Ever since the “blackout” when a virus attacked their database the inhabitants of a generation ship have prioritised a way of keeping their history alive. Whether that is historical events from earth, or specific tunes or re-enactments of popular films, the Memory Project is determined to keep those artifacts alive. Rosie, and her grandmother before her, are dedicated to specific songs. One being Wind will Rove and its variations. She also teaches history.
But for one of her students all this history and literature is pointless. It is about and by people who lived lives unlike anything anyone on the ship will every experience. It is not relevant and should be abandoned he argues.
There are some really neat and interesting ideas in this story. The importance of learning from the past, but how do you do that when you aren’t sure if the past you are being taught is actually true. The importance of keeping popular culture alive.
But is it popular culture if it doens’t evolve and change? Are people putting too much emphasis on the “right” way of playing a tune and not allowing music, and other art, to evolve and change. To reflect life on the ship as it as opposed to as it was.