What I gleaned about the stories: The tall tales people tell each other can be more believable than reality.
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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.
Note 2: The stories in the collection are set within a framing story. To avoid potentially becoming confused if later sections relied on earlier ones, and thus losing immersion unfairly, I only read the first segment.
Analysis:The framing story begins set in italics, which I parsed as internal dialogue. However, after several paragraphs, I encountered text set in Roman, which conflicted with my parsing of the typefaces. Needing evidence, I automatically began skimming paragraphs to confirm whether it was internal dialogue or not.
Half a page later, I concluded that the entire story was set with typefaces reversed; however, by then I’d lost my focus on the story so moved on.
Analysis: While not all the stories contain a twist ending, the ones that do are references to classic tropes of their genre without being either stale or obtuse.
Analysis: A short way through a story, I encountered: “Please contact the impound authorities at the Alpheratz station as soon as your”—he chuckled—“technical problems are solved. They’ve been notified of your arrival and will be awaiting you.”
While em-dashes are a correct way of indicating an interruption, they are inserted at the point of interruption instead of other closing punctuation. As these bracket the stage business rather than sitting within the dialogue, my mind therefore treated them as being one of the other uses of em-dashes and tried to untangle the intended meaning.
A moment later, I realised they were marking the interruption, but by then had already moved into analysing rather than reading mode.
Analysis: While there is a common style, each story has a distinct narrative voice which fits its characters, from highly-trained Jewish time traveller to a post-apocalyptic junk trader.
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