The Emperor's Toy Chest
"The first story is ‘A Day in the Life of the Grand Vizier’, an Arabian fables-like tale. Seamon paints an authentic picture of this remixed world, in which Mr Sultan has issues with one of his harem, a certain Shahr-azad. And all told with a wicked sense of humour. Perhaps my favourite story is ‘Without Kong’, which tells of what happens to the islanders – and the scientists – after the great ape had been captured and crated off the New York. It’s very moving and thought provoking, and a little sad...wit and imagination mostly shone throughout these tales."
British Fantasy Society
"Seamon’s toy chest is a cabinet of wonders, bursting at the seams with cracked dreamers, harried Grand Viziers, boardwalk Sirens, and the odd Kong Islander. In meticulously crafted fabulist fictions and deadpan reviews of an imaginary Franco-Hungarian art film and a botched execution, Seamon’s voice is a nonpareil shape-shifter."
Available from the award-winning UK press PS Publishing:
The Emperor's Toy Chest explores history, mythology, fantasy, and the magical borderlands between. A modern Odysseus discovers a siren amidst the carnival thrills of the boardwalk, while an overworked vizier confronts the pitfalls of power to the tune of laughing cats; an imprisoned king examines a series of double-edged amusements even as a suburban youth comes of age like a general facing catastrophe on the battlefield. Whether it's a collegiate cavalier denying death through bigamy, a fin-de-siecle Frenchman building an aerial ice rink for his faithless wife, a native of King Kong's island coming to grips with white colonization, or a snobbish reviewer panning the latest from the world's foremost executioner, The Emperor's Toy Chest reveals an unforgettable cast that is both sovereign and plaything of its own timeless realm.
"The Emperor's Toy Chest...establishes the author as a master of the macabre fable, the weird and fascinating tale. Seamon's stories are populated by engaging misfits and beguilingly odd characters – an eccentric actress way past her prime, a hangman who treats his craft as performance art, a professor of comparative literature with a collection of shrunken heads, some of which he has shrunk himself – characters who are not quite demented, lost in stories which are boisterously crazy. Edgar Allan Poe of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and H. P. Lovecraft of "The Rats in the Walls" come close to Seamon, but Seamon is essentially incomparable, a true original. With narrative skill that ranges from the reportorial to the outrageously baroque, Seamon lures the reader into a world alternately whimsical, tragic, and darkly comic."
- Eugene Mirabelli, Nebula finalist and author of The Goddess in Love with a Horse