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This question already has an answer here:

I recall many years ago reading a (possibly short) story that involved an inscrutable alien craft arriving in orbit around earth that stripped a day's-worth of memories from everyone it passed by, so that from an individual's point of view they were going back in time.

Once they realised what was happening they left notes for themselves. The military tried to mount an attack but they kept forgetting where they were up to. Divorcees found themselves back in love. A sort of SF horror story.

What was the story?

marked as duplicate by Valorum story-identification Jan 14 '15 at 23:47

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This is "Sketches Among The Ruins of My Mind" by Philip Jose Farmer

SFSite describes it thusly;

'Sketches Among The Ruins of My Mind' is a scary tale concerning our world under the influence of an orbiting alien object, which literally clocks back mankind's memory, regressing personal experience even as real time progresses

It may interest you to know that Farmer original submitted this story as a Star Trek script, with Kirk picking up an icon that caused him to lose his memory. Roddenberry rejected it as "too complicated for my aunt in Iowa to understand"

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