What I gleaned about the stories: Robot wolves and holographic angels are both similar and different to their mythic counterparts, and can produce the same defining moments.
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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: The first story opens with a character named Thelxiepeia entering the room. Half a beat later – without breaking my immersion – my unconscious offered up it was the name of a siren. A few paragraphs later, her sister, named Peisinoe, speaks. Again the name of a siren.
Partway down the second page I discovered they were Indian. As they are both named after obscure characters from Greek mythology, my initial image had been that they were ethnically Greek, so this bumped me out.
The conflict was made worse by Thelxiepeia being described as like a pregnant airship in the first paragraph, so I’d made the additional assumption that I already had the critical physical traits I needed to form a mental image.
After a few moments of considering how the first paragraphs might be reworked to avoid the confusion without introducing an info-dump on why they both had classical Greek names, I realised I was out of the story and moved on.
Analysis: While Thelxiepeia’s ethnicity wasn’t flagged early enough, the comparison with a pregnant airship immediately gave me a compact yet powerful image of the character’s personality and actions. This later trend continued through the other stories, suggesting the WTF could be an isolated incident.
Analysis: The third story contains playbacks of a character’s past projected at him without his cooperation. As well as being marked in italics, they are written in a style that uses longer sentences with little punctuation. This gave a definite sense of a barrage of images while avoiding the mental effort of reading true stream of consciousness.
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