May 25, 2006
A very tightly told story about an old man who, with his strongman servant, goes around the world, from curio shop to curio shop, searching for a mysterious crystal which he knows will grant him four wishes. Like most people in these stories, he's well aware of the traps involved in wishes, but thinks he's got it figured out and has his wishes worded perfectly. He finally finds the crystal and asks for youth, long life, freedom from "arrest, jail, prisons and institutions" and finally the to be the richest man in the world. Of course that last one is the trap, and when all the special effects clear the man is young and healthy, but on another world.
I hope at some point we get a massive collection of these 5-page stories (there are over 200 of them, so they could easily fill two big "Essential" format collections, or three "Visionaries" books).
"Beware Of The Ghastly Glass" V-54
May 18, 2006
Unfortunately, after the interesting set-up the story kind of veers off into a less interesting sci-fi twist ending, where it turns out the creative chair-builder is in fact an alien in disguise investigating humanity, and his chairs are spy robots. Cute, I guess, but doesn't quite live up to the set-up of the first few pages.