What I gleaned about the stories: The strangeness of life is all in your head.
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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 on to the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.
Analysis: The first page starts with the title of the book, then moves onto the copyright declaration without even a clear line to mark the transition. While this raised a concern that the formatting would not be ideal, I chose not to score a WTF for it.
However when a précis of the contents and then the start of the first story followed, still without even a clear line to mark them, my faith that the book had been formatted at all plummeted.
Considering for a moment how much more confused readers who don’t habitually read copyright pages would be if they’d automatically flipped over the page when they saw the first few lines, I scored the WTF.
As the entire book is defined as a single unbroken chapter there is no table of contents or other navigation. I anticipated that flipping through pages of text without even a line break to mark a new story would put me in an extremely critical mood; so, in the interest of fairness, I decided to score the WTF at the point of the précis and restart from the beginning of the first story
Analysis: Less than halfway down the first page, I noticed a third typographical error.
My hope that the collection was well-written, properly edited, and merely blighted by a poor ebook conversion at the last was shaken. The first page of a story being sacrosanct, I moved on.
Analysis: Partway down the second page of the second story, I encountered a line break in the middle of a sentence. As the break itself was three-quarters of the way to the right margin, it was within the tolerances of ebook justification, so I might have slid over it. However, the heavy sprinkling of adjectives and slightly over-clear description in the preceding paragraphs had kept me from engaging with events.
Realising I had no investment in the story to counter my expectation of further technical obstacles, 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.