‘The Old Scale Game’ takes a simple premise and shows the reader what could happen if a scheme is a little* too* successful and everyone wants in on it. What originally begins as a ‘one man, one dragon’ operation leads to any number of mythical beasts wanting to get involved, resulting in depression and spiralling alcoholism for one of the original conspirators. I found myself in the position where I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Guldhogg and Sir Blivet, even though a blatant lack of forethought had led them to this in the first place. Everything works out though (it had to, given the note of gently humour that runs through the piece) and all credit to Williams for taking a thoroughly twentieth century concept and having it sit very comfortably in a tenth century setting (although if the reader is asked to believe in dragons then it’s not a huge leap to believe in a dragon that… that would be telling).
Read the rest of Flory’s comments at.
For more information on The Very Best of Tad Williams, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Kerem Beyit.
Design by Elizabeth Story.