What I gleaned about the stories: The most unusual of worlds are only one small change away from this one.
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Note: This is a short story collection, so the rules are slightly different from standard Immerse or Die: instead of reading on every time I lose immersion, I stop reading that story and move onto the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.
Analysis: While there are moments where the narrators explain meanings or state facts, most of each story is presented as the narrator’s perceptions and reactions. This enhanced the illusion that I was experiencing events rather than being lectured about them from a distance. The absence of objective narration added especially to those stories where the plot contained mystery or confusion.
Analysis: Each narrator was both distinct and consistent, without drifting into pastiche or affectation. Due to this, I both felt no confusion or blurring between stories from reading them back to back, and moved smoothly through each story.
Analysis: Each of the stories grows from a single change to the “real” world, a what-if allowed to unfold logically. This focus on the consequences of one difference, rather than entire new worlds created from whole cloth, grounded my experience firmly in the familiar – making the issues instantly relevant – and created a firmer contrast for the significant differences.
Take the Pepsi Challenge: Want to know if my own writing measures up? Download one of these free short stories, in the format of your choice, and decide for yourself.