|Smoke and Mirrors is an eclectic collection of short stories written by Neil Gaiman.
These stories were written for various anthologies or to amuse himself. Some of the stories are brilliant, others are bizarre and a few are just plain bad. But each story is unique and imaginative.
Smoke and Mirrors begins with an introduction from Gaiman himself. He explains the background for each story and even tells a tale entitled The Wedding Present within the introduction.
The Wedding Present story is great and sets the reader with high expectations for the other stories in the book.
My four of my favourite stories were:
- 2. Changes – A Scientist creates a drug, a side effect of which is the ability to easily switch gender. The story shows the impact of this side effect on society, over the lifetime of the Scientist, through his perspective.
- 3. Virus – A story about a totally addictive computer game. Everyone that plays it gets addicted. When they can’t play it on the computers, they play it in their head. And so do their friends.
- 4. Mouse – This is a story all about subtext and reading in between the lines. The story is told through what isn’t written, rather than what is. A refreshing change and ultimately very clever.
Both Changes and Virus were great ideas for stories, but were too short and lacked the scope to explore each idea fully.
The exclusive content in Smoke and Mirrors is a short interview with Gaiman.
Overall Smoke and Mirrors was disappointing. Probably because the brilliant short stories were too short and the more lengthly short stories were either bizarre or bad.