What I gleaned about the stories: Sometimes people leave… gaps when speaking about… odd things.
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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: Half way through the first paragraph, I encountered ‘the opportunity to do things that most people can only guess at… for example[…]’ The most usual use for ellipsis in fiction is a thought or action trailing off, so I expected a transition to something else. So when I discovered the sentence continued with neither a transition nor a missing section, I thought I had missed something and went back to reread it.
Rereading it, I decided Trez was attempting to mimic casual speech; unfortunately this pushed me out further as I then wondered why that pause rather than any other had been flagged.
Aware I had definitely lost immersion, I moved on.
Analysis: The combination of formal structure and wacky ideas worked well, making me look forward to more of the poetry.
Analysis: There are illustrations dotted throughout the work. Unfortunately, whether due to poor originals or failure to account for how some e-readers would render them, they were both small and lacking in contrast. So, after spending almost a minute trying to make out the fourth illustration without success I moved on.
Analysis: The next story opened with a sentence mentioning the deaths of almost every animal on the planet along with nine billion people, leading into a paragraph that told me nine billion was big in several ways. By the second statement that trying to conceive that large a number could cause madness, I realised the author was right: I had no attachment to the events at all.
Without a point of emotional reference to both make the immensity real by contrast, and make me care enough about the fictional extinction to read on, I pulled the plug.
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.