Get Out of My Head: Ninth Anniversary Edition, by William Coker (2:02)

iod-getoutofmyheadToday we see that ebooks converted from print really do require different considerations.

What I gleaned about the stories: Something about amnesia, but I can’t recall what.

Find this book on Amazon.

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.

WTF #1: Print formatting in an ebook

Analysis: The book is formatted with fixed line-breaks which were narrower than the book displayed on my ereader. Because a sentence usually only ends in the middle of the page when it is the last in the paragraph, this meant that—for an instant—my mind tried to parse each line as a complete unit, then had to reparse when the sentence continued on the next line. I tried to push through the foreword, but a few lines later I hit a page number.

Utterly derailed, I moved on.

WTF #2: Disjunction in accuracy

Analysis: A few paragraphs into the first story I encountered: This curse had been a part of her life for longer than she cared to remember. Was it 20 years? 200? Longer? She could not remember anymore.

The phrase “longer than she care to remember” made me think she was deliberately avoiding the question of how long it had been, which fitted with speculation on whether it was twenty years. However, it potentially being two hundred years (or more) only fitted with actual forgetting rather than not choosing to remember; so my image of what was going on crashed down.

While I was curious about the curse, the collapsing description of it had damaged my faith that I’d get the clues I needed, so I moved on.

WTF #3: Second person point-of-view

Analysis: The third story opens in second person PoV, and didn’t really grab me. A few paragraphs in, I realised why: nothing about the story was intriguing enough that I was desperate to know more, and nothing about the narrator’s description of me seemed to match. Had I been engaged enough by the plot, the misalignment between the protagonist and myself might not have bothered me; however, without that deep-sunk hook, I kept having instants of “that doesn’t sound like me”, which gave the story that odd feeling you get when a stranger mistakes you for someone else and suddenly launches into the middle of a conversation.

After a moment of pondering how to make the narration generic enough to avoid the issue, 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.

Sebasten of Atlantis and the Forgotten Goddess, by Olivier Delaye (7:58)
A Heretical Divide, by Serban Valentin Constantin Enache (6:47)

About the author

Dave Higgins has worked in law and IT for both public and private sector organisations. When not pursuing these hobbies, he writes poetry and speculative fiction.He was born in Wiltshire, England. Raised by a librarian, he started reading shortly after birth and has not stopped since. He currently lives in Bristol with his wife, Nicola, his cats, Jasper and Una, and many shelves of books.