Review: That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn

That Game We Played During the War is a short story that was nominated for the Hugo Award. I had never heard of it before, because short fiction as a whole is underrated. That’s why small gems like this one go relatively unnoticed. And it’s also free, so.

At the moment, I can’t think of another story I’ve read that is set after a war, not before or during (no, That Game We Played During the War is not actually set during the war, but there are flashbacks). Maybe Strange the Dreamer? And I can’t think of a story about war that was so full of hope, either.

As the main character notices many times, after the war both sides had stories like that. Stories of loss and suffering, and everyone is now standing on a fragile peace.

It’s a story about a war between Gaanth (telepaths) and Enith (not telepaths), and two people who met when they where war prisoners.
Two people that now, after the war, want to finish the game of chess they had started.

It was interesting to see how a society of telepaths would work, and I liked seeing how the protagonist felt as the only Enith between the Gaanth. Some aspects were underdeveloped – we do not know anything about the conflict, or about the differences between the two cultures that are not about telepathy – but it’s an enjoyable short story anyway.

My rating: ★★★★¾

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