The Emperor’s Toy Chest by Tobias Seamon. Book review

THE EMPEROR’S TOY CHEST by Tobias Seamon. PS Publishing £11.99

Reviewed by Tom Crouch

Tobias Seamon is a newish writer I’ve not come across before, showcased in PS’s Showcase line. The first story is ‘A Day in the Life of the Grand Vizier’, 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 ‘Without Kong’, which tells of what happens to the islanders – and the scientists – after the great ape had been captured and crated off the New York. It’s very moving and thought provoking, and a little sad. Otherwise, I have to say that this is a bit of a curate’s egg – a few tales left me unimpressed; although it’s a great title, ‘The Emperor’s Toy Chest’ 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 Seamon’s future collections. A signed edition is also available.