No that blog title is not a secret story only included on the copy of Cirsova provided to advertisers like me. It’s just the subject of this blogpost and an admission that I’ve been doing it all wrong.
Throughout the whole of Volume One of Cirsova, The Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense, I studiously ignored the short blurbs written by the editor. These short snippets of description prime the reader’s pump and whet the appetite to continue reading. In my naivete, I thought that these were minor spoilers and un-necessary reading for those of us who already had the magazine in our sticky little fingers. In my vanity, I rejected the editor’s decision and chose to read the stories “fresh”, the way God and the authors intended.
How wrong I was.
With Issue One of Volume Two, I’ve been making it a point to read them, and have to admit that they serve a purpose. Reading shorts back to back to back, particularly those written by authors with drastically differing styles, there’s a constant amount of mental gear shifting required to get into the story. Cirsova makes this the best kind of worse as well, because it freely hops genres with reckless abandon. Author, genre, plot, characters, the reader has to get their hands around all of that, and it can be very distracting in the early stages of a story.
The short blurbs Mr. Alexander provides actually help ease the reader into each story faster and easier than a blind, headlong plunge. The brief sketches he provides don’t spoil the journey, they just provide a bit of a map, so that the reader can better navigate the mental spaces of the reading process. They actually shorten the process of slipping from this world into the escapist world on the page.
Mea culpa. I’ll never skip another one again.