Don’t Read This Book is a fiction anthology based on the game Don’t Rest Your Head, in which some people get struck with extreme bouts of insomnia… and find that not sleeping opens their eyes to another reality. One in which nightmares are real, are hunting for them, and will find them the moment they fall asleep. Oh, and insomnia gives them superpowers. Well, at least a superpower, and it’s usually something damn weird. Insomnia also makes them a bit crazy, and it gets worse fast. It’s a neat game with a vicious “death spiral” mechanic which really enforces the themes of the game. I like it a lot.
This anthology is also very good, and avoids a lot of the cliches of just telling the standard “new player character” story. The tales range all over the place. Some take place in the real world with just glimpses of the weird, some are in the Mad City with normality a fading memory. While the quality varies, none of the stories are real clunkers and some are really good. If you want to get some extra idea on how the game might work, or if you just want some weird fiction entertainment, this book is a good choice. I suspect it would work pretty well for readers not familiar with the game, too, but hard to say for sure.
I you are into weird fiction / urban horror-fantasy and the like, I suspect you’ll like this book (regardless of whether you have any idea of what Don’t Rest Your Head is).
The print book is still in pre-order, but the e-book version is available right away. It wasn’t, initially, but when I tried to place a pre-order for the print book it only have me a ridiculously priced shipping option (to the tune of $35 extra for one paperback book). Contacted Fred at Evil Hat, who said it’s a bug in their online shop software (he hasn’t been able to configure it to give more reasonable non-priority-mail overseas shipping options). Having said that, he announced the immediate availability of the e-book version the next day, so that international customers could get the book without having to wait for a print copy to (maybe) make its way to a local store. Yay!