Sunday, December 11, 2011
A Scuffle for a Wrinkle by Luke Evans
Vonnel offers a proposition to his skilled team of thieves: make off with the most technologically advanced gadget on the planet, and earn more money than they can imagine. The gadget known as "the wrinkler" lines up the rifts in space-time and thrusts you through it, but there's a catch. They're not the only ones after it.
They set up a sting in a skyscraper hotel on the edge of The City. Vonnel's right-hand man is dressed as a woman, his techie can't get the volume right on his communications, and his bumbling diversion is doing things better left unknown. Vonnel intercepts the target in his hotel room. Problem is, the wrinkler is not inside, and the man who stole it, his old nemesis, has already used it to disappear.
Now Vonnel must use all his wits to determine where his nemesis has gone, and how to procure the wrinkler for his client. It's a race up skyscrapers and through space-time for the ultimate gadget, and only one person can stop him: a man he has never before bested.
When I read “A Scuffle for a Wrinkle,” I forgot it was a short story. For some reason I thought it was novel length. Maybe that was because I’m not used to world-building complete with an alternate language (at least for cuss words) in a short story. Maybe this story takes place on Earth; maybe not. But it wasn’t an Earth I recognized. Buildings were hundreds of stories tall and the land outside the city was a desert. People mostly flew—in carts, luxury vehicles or harnesses. I wasn’t sure I liked Vonnel, but if this were a movie, I could see George Clooney playing him and winning women’s hearts while making men want to be him. Yeah…he kinda grows on you. And major kudos to Luke Evans for a top-notch job of world-building in thirty-four pages.