Monday, October 20, 2014

The Game Room

(Note: Check out the "Under Stars" tab on the right sidebar for other articles directly related to this one.)

I'll admit, it's been almost a year since I read "The Game Room," a reprint fantasy story (originally published in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) in KJ Kabza's upcoming (releasing the 27th) SFF collection Under Stars.  However, it's a memorable enough story that I still remember the gist of it.  Now, I have a good memory, but that only happens with very strong stories.

The voice coming from this story's first-person narrator is of top-notch quality.  It maintains the mystery that the story's concept requires without seeming really odd.  All of the characters in "The Game Room" are cool, whether they're the minimalist inhabitants of the narrator's home or of the diverse cast of "visitors."  They will especially excite you if you understand basic French and/or Chinese (yes, there is some foreign language dialogue).

A story with a title like "The Game Room" ought to have an awesome setting.  It does.  The setting is crazy and weird, yet not far from home, so to speak.  It utilizes a perfect proportion of familiar-to-strange.  I'll allow you to discover the specific details.

If there's any problem with this story it's plot-based.  I've seen a lot worse in otherwise good stories though.  This particular story only needs as much plot as Kabza included and I assure you, you will not be bored as you read "The Game Room."

"The Game Room" is one of several stories in Under Stars that make it worth its $3.99 cost.

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