The Phrrks (1988)

The saying goes, you can’t go back. Among my earliest reading experiences is SF from the GDR, but once I discovered a different flavor of SF I went away. And now going back proves to be problematic. Odd is probably the best word to describe some of the stories in this collection: an old women stops an invasion of aliens who occupy her radio, the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves turns out to be fabricated by one of the dwarves, who is an alien, a man gets a gift from aliens who like to play jokes on people, when he turns invisible he’s completely blind and others.

These stories often rely on twist endings, but the twists don’t feel very clever or mind bending, only a bit wacky. The other kind of stories (the not odd ones) in this collection are mostly about gloomy futures or about bad things happening to ordinary people: global warming destroying humanity, secret experiments on humans and the likes.

The problem here is that the writing lacks a subtle touch, these stories have always a message, and they hit you over the head with it. Worse, Prokop has the habit to stop the stories before a real conclusion is reached. Ambiguity is like a spice, too much and everything tastes the same (unfinished and incomplete applies in this case), which was a frustrating experience.

no English translation, German title: Die Phrrks