(May contain spoilers?)
Just last week, we had another talk with Mr. TJ Dimacali, Science and Technology editor for GMA News. So as Sir Juned was interviewing him, they ended up talking about science fiction books, then Game of Thrones, then George R.R. Martin, then they reached the Sandkings – a short story written by George R.R. Martin, the same author who also did A Song of Ice and Fire. Now I’ve never read any of his books nor have I watched Game of Thrones (I’m probably one of the few who haven’t read or watched. But I will jump on the bandwagon!) So when Sir Juned suggested that we read Sandkings, I immediately got a copy (thank you internet but sorry George R.R. Martin!).
The story is science fiction with horror. It follows Simon Kress, a collector of exotic animals. In addition, he’s (how do I put this gently) arrogant and quite the douchebag. So after he returns home from a trip, he finds that his current pet piranhas have cannibalized themselves into extinction; he’s now on the hunt for the rarest, coolest pet he can show off to his friends. He finds these so called Sandkings in a sketchy pet shop by the port and immediately buys them because they’re just so fascinating. These aren’t just regular creatures, they eat anything (anything at all), they have the abilities to build castles, battle each other (and others), worship their owners and they even have telepathic powers. So being the cruel owner that he is, he starves them so that they would battle each other. He would even engage the Sandkings in battle with other animals such as snakes and scorpions. So I won’t say anything more but basically, all this leads to him doing crazy things (wild) and ultimately, his downfall. And it’s quite fun to watch how it all happens since it’s so easy to dislike Kress.
Something I learned from all this is how a lust for power can be very dangerous. When power lands in the wrong hands (sound familiar?), everything can just go completely wrong. It leads to greed and abuse. We can’t let these things go to our heads and blind us. Fortunately, the thought of Kress being a god led to his destruction.