The Game, by Terry Schott (2:05)

IOD-TheGameToday we see that when the editor is absent, the evidence mounts quickly.

What I gleaned about the story: An unnamed male wakes up in a white room after moving away from the light, and wonders if he’s dead. I’m guessing that he is.

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WTF #1: Time out of joint

Analysis: Suddenly he slammed to a stop and lost consciousness. Now he was in this room… That seems odd. He’s unconscious and still able to describe his surroundings? But on closer examination, that first sentence was the tail-end of a reminiscence, catching us up to the present. This would have been so much easier to parse if the brief flashback had used past perfect properly.

WTF #2: Mis-anchored modifier

Analysis: People sharing these stories had all been revived by doctors, moving away from the light and returning from death’s door. Why were the doctors moving away from the light? Oh. He means the people sharing the stories were doing that. But it took a moment. And since we’re still on the first page, any stumbles like this earn a flag.

WTF #3: Editor in absentia

Analysis: “Am I dead?” He asked out loud. Any editor would have advised the author not to capitalize the “he,” since It is in the middle of the sentence in which his utterance is being reported. And since we’re still on the first page, we’re still charging full freight for the stumbles.

After: The Shock, by Scott Nicholson (38:03)
Sworn to Raise, by Terah Edun (3:34)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That’s why he writes.