Author: J. Zachary Pike
Publisher: Self-Published – Gnomish Press LLC
Winner of the 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, which if you haven’t heard of I encourage you to google it, Orconomics is a brilliant blend of economic theory with DnD style shenanigans. Does that sound weird? Understandable really, but honestly it shouldn’t put you off at all. At no point, at least until you’ve finished, will you realise you are learning something.
The basic plot involves a group of adventurers setting off to fulfil a prophecy and recover the Elgin Marbels … cough cough… I mean Elven Marbles. Its a chance for Ex-Professional Hero Gorm Ingerson to find some sort of redemption and get back to doing what he used to be good at. That said, the plot is pretty superfluous to what makes this book such a great read. (It is still a good story, don’t get me wrong, but the worldbuilding around the plot is on another level).
What you’ve got in the background of this book though are hundreds of insights into the failures of modern capitalism and ‘Western’ society. You have shadowy speculators gambling on the outcomes of ‘heroic’ quests, as a crude but effective analog for stock trading; an aside about health potion addiction which serves as a sad statement on addiction in society more widely; and an amusing scene in a weapons store which couldn’t be anymore damning of the USA’s attitude towards gun control. There are countles other little tidbits and scenes that are at the same time hilarious and sadly accurate. Combine all this satire with a wit that Sir Terry would be proud of and you have an absolute winner of a novel.
Beer: Spared no Expense
Brewery: Staggeringly Good
Full Disclosure: I only had two sips because I’d left this one in the fridge too long and it was full of floaties.
What I did taste was cracking though and I almost shed a tear as I poured it away. Full bitter flavour with that depth you want from a DIPA. Will have to hunt out another of these.