I have one or two (I’d need to check the tower of book boxes) Chuck Wendig novels stashed away, yet to be read so I thought it fitting to start with his story as I began the anthology Dangerous Games. It’s a great premise for a set of stories and Mr Wendig’s opening gambit sets a terrific and terrifying tone.
What seems like a set piece, road-rage tale of a man lost and losing his senses changes by turns, each stranger than the last, into something more odd and unsettling than I could have predicted. The mix between the visual failure of the protagonist’s car and his inner monologue, cataloging his many errors, creates a powerful setting. The innocuous confrontation that begins the chase is fuelled with emotion.
However, the game is something else here and it’s for Chuck Wendig to tell it. A superb intro story: a bit weird, a bit wild but very entertaining.
Chrysalises by Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a totally different ball game altogether (excuse the pun). I’ve read one of Benjanun’s stories before and this strange tale is just another example of her unique talent. The premise, ostensibly, is the notion of war as a game and games as metaphors for war. However, Chrysalises is something else.
It’s hard to pin down Sriduangkaew’s style which is both sublime and aesthetic. There’s a real beauty to the writing and an ungraspable imagination at work behind it. Once again I’m struck by this author’s ability to meld ideas into a world so alien yet so grounded, so strange yet so understandable. I know I’ve not said much about the story but this is truly brilliant piece of work that is well worth seeking out.
Published by Solaris