“Ch05En: Episode 1” by William Dickstein is a short story about Frankie, a young man who delivers pizzas while his parents have bigger plans for him. The story takes place in the near future. In the year 2025 (the past in the story), a new gene, called Ch05En was discovered by a scientist. This gene had the ability to give “super powers” to certain people and is commonplace during the time the story takes place. Frankie’s parents both have the gene and so does Frankie, except his gene is latent. While his parents try to find new, unique ways to activate Frank’s gene, Frankie is trying to do everything he can to live a normal life delivering pizzas.
The story is told from the first-person point of view of Frankie, who is pretty blunt with what he has to say. This gives the story a witty yet wistful feel which I very much enjoyed. I liked Frankie, and I think he will be very relatable to most readers. There is a lot of cleverness in the story that makes it a fun read.
The story is 29 pages short, and is set up in episodes. Whereas normally this wouldn’t work for the length of the story, since it is of a superhero nature, I didn’t mind the extreme shortness of the episode. It felt more like reading a comic without the art. Overall, a very enjoyable start to a great new series.