Note: Before I start, this is an improved version of a repost, so if you find this review familiar, it’s because I had more things to say since the last review after this reread.
Author: Wayne Ree & Anna AB
According to Wayne, this collection of stories was put together while he and Anna were travelling and got inspired by the many prompts they encountered. And with each prompt, both authors present their own interpretations.
To be honest, I took a look at the prompts and immediately asked (at least in my head) – Where did you guys travel to?! But exclamations aside, both writers had stories written according to prompts, Graffiti, Time Travel, Frustration, Day Off, Smoke, Sacrifice, and Last Days.
And while each story was constructed according to its theme, aspects of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Thriller genres permeated through their words. Each story was a fine balance between reality we can relate to and the what ifs of life should our parallels be different.
The writing in both authors was impeccable. Words flowed, conveying sincere stories that provoke thought, reflect society, and above all, entertain. While I did get lost in some of the shorts, being distracted by the details in exposition and losing the story halfway, the straightforward execution had me back on track.
My favourites from the both of them include Where I End and You Begin by Anna and Admin by Wayne.
Admin sets a twisted idea in a scene we all know too well. Marrying bureaucracy and the lure of the dark, this story had me laughing from the start, especially when the idea of sections and forms came into play in the middle of a summoning. With the familiar faces and voices of office drones, it is difficult not to laugh at how this could be if we lived in a world of Lovecraft instead.
Where I End and You Begin was one of those stories which had me increase the width of my smile as I read along, only to have me go, “YES!!!” with a fist pump by the end. The idea is not new, but it gives me a whole lot of relief when a story about time travel speaks about its paradox and leaves no loopholes. The writing here is emotional, tight, and enjoyable, and I hope you will have your mind blown at the end too.
BONUS NOTE: Mr Memphis, one of Wayne’s stories in the book, has been turned into a comic (stay tuned to this blog to find out more about it!), thanks to the greatness of Benjamin Chee. A twist on a western, you’ll be twisting again once you flip through the pages of this 30+ page doujin.
Now, it has been about two years since Wayne and Anna released Prompt to the world. As they only printed about 55 copies, the book’s now sold out, but you can get more information here.
My adventures with in urban speculative fiction.