The Ant King: And Other Stories
Small Beer, Aug 2008, $16.00
This is an interesting surrealistic speculative fiction anthology that readers who enjoy something different will appreciate. There are several excellent entries, which by contrast make the remaining good short stories seem lacking yet none are of poor quality Readers will relish finding the “The Book of Jashar” in which a new Old Testament tome has been discovered; also superb is "Start the Clock" as preadolescents are stuck forever as the heirs to the current generation; a sensitive retelling of Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” also is quite provoking. Perhaps the two strongest tales are “The Ant King” in which a giant roach abducted a woman (where is She-Hulk when you need her) and "A Siege of Cranes" starring a lone survivor of a village seeking vengeance on what destroyed his family and neighbors. This is an engaging collection that takes readers into a realm where anything especially the absurd rule.