Reviewed by Tom Crouch
Tobias Seamon is a newish writer Iâ€™ve not come across before, showcased in PSâ€™s Showcase line. The first story is â€˜A Day in the Life of the Grand Vizierâ€™, an Arabian fables-like tale. Seamon paints an authentic picture of this remixed world, in which Mr Sultan has issues with one of his harem, a certain Shahr-azad. And all told with a wicked sense of humour. Perhaps my favourite story is â€˜Without Kongâ€™, which tells of what happens to the islanders â€“ and the scientists â€“ after the great ape had been captured and crated off the New York. Itâ€™s very moving and thought provoking, and a little sad. Otherwise, I have to say that this is a bit of a curateâ€™s egg â€“ a few tales left me unimpressed; although itâ€™s a great title, â€˜The Emperorâ€™s Toy Chestâ€™ is too slight for it to lend its name to the collection as a whole. But fortunately, the wit and imagination mostly shone throughout these tales, and on this basis I will keep an eye open for Tobias Seamonâ€™s future collections. A signed edition is also available.