I don’t think I’ve reviewed anything by Kostick before, but I’ve definitely read some of his work – his Epic series was delightful, and shares something in common with this collection of novellas: a lot of playing around with virtual worlds.
Slightly on-the-nose about it, but as a card-carrying millennial I am contractually obliged to like a story about the evils of capitalism.
The nice thing is that, in the setting of a post-scarcity and apparently post-death virtual utopia, the whole thing becomes aggressively about the service economy, and also makes the whole thing low-stakes enough that it’s just a nice story.
Again, a very cool concept thanks to the interesting setting. I’m enjoying the little references to Epic, as well – there are both name-drops and references to the actual storyline.
“Revenge Upon the Vampyres”
In a world where people can’t die, thanks to the ability to restore themselves from backups,1 finding a way to make the stakes high can be a bit difficult. It’s played nicely in this one.
“Dancers Beyond the Whorl of Time”
A nice prologue story, answering a few questions I’ve had building up from little references in the other stories.
“The Siege of Mettleburg”
I’m feeling like I should check the publish dates of these stories and Epic, because this one really felt like a precursor to the larger novel.
“The Murder Mystery”
A nice follow-up to the previous story, and a bit of interesting discussion of the relationship between the virtual world in which the stories take place and the physical reality in which it’s anchored.2
All in all, it’s a nice little box set of books, and it’s not too pricey, either. Have a read.