Hey all, quick admin note: I have an Instagram @m.l.s.weech_and_FeistyLeisty. You can follow book stuff as well as the new art stuff we’re doing (mostly my wife). I’ll talk more about that art stuff on Saturday, but I’d appreciate a follow if you’re on that platform.
Spoiler Free Summary: Altered by Alexander Harrington is the seventeenth story in the Alien Days Anthology. You are the character in an alien invasion story where body snatchers come in through the rain.
Character: You read that correctly. This is the first story in I-don’t-know-how-long that has been written in second person. For this reason, I really couldn’t connect withe character because we’re too dissimilar. It was just too hard to connect a person who was nothing like me to myself. I think if second-person narrative is going to make a comeback, it would have to do so with choose-your-own-adventure stories. That way, the choices I make are mine, and it’s easier to connect with the character in the story.
Exposition: The other down-side to second person narrative is that it forces everything to be exposition. I’m being told what’s happening to me while it’s happening. This combined with choices I’d never make cause me to really not associate well with the character.
Worldbuilding: This story takes place on a modern-day Earth. There really isn’t much in the way of world building. It would probably be alright as a Twilight Zone episode, but there just isn’t enough character to make this story work for me.
Dialogue: There isn’t any dialogue.
Description: There’s a lot of description for scene, but that’s where all the description is. The author couldn’t really tell you what you look like, so he couldn’t connect the reader to the character using personal features.
Overall: I really do applaud the author for using second-person narrative. It’s important for authors to stretch themselves, and I can imagine this did a lot for Harrington in terms of growing a skill set. However, choosing that narrative boxed Harrington in. There was no dialogue to speak of or a chance to connect to a character we’re supposed to feel belongs to us. This problem made the story forgettable.
Thanks for reading