1. The Snake Mittens. A book I tried reading recently–which seemed perfect for me–got the axe because the main character failed to notice three important things in the first ten pages, all because he was too busy wondering how he looked in his new hat. You don’t deserve to survive to the end of the story. You are dumber than snake mittens. Next.
2. The Failure To Launch. Nothing’s happening. And I don’t mean the artistic nothing, where you can get alongside it because it’s exploring character*. I mean nothing nothing. You might have some good characters or an interesting setting or a cool idea, but, goddamn, move it along a little. I’m too busy to hang around while an author masturbates all over a page and calls it art.
3. The Frankly Scarlett**. When you just don’t give two sacks of dead rats about these people or anything that’s happening to them. Died? Meh. Survived? Double meh. Crowned ruler of the land? Welcome to the Kingdom of Meh, population meh.
4. The Long Con. When the first two 900-page books of a series are just set-up, and nothing really gets interesting until book three. At the earliest. Call me when the author learns about editing.
5. The Sexist Bullshit. And don’t even fucking try to get around me with ‘historically accurate’ sexism in fantasy settings. You’ve got magic and elves, but it’s too unrealistic for you to let anyone with a vagina be a real person? Go fuck yourself.
6. The Racist Bullshit. Likewise, any fantasy/sci-fi mention of an ‘evil race’ automatically earns you a place in the corner. It’s 20-fucking-16. If you can’t write racism with any nuance or grace, then don’t do it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, proceed directly to go fuck yourself.
7. The Any-Other-Discriminatory Bullshit. Get it together, and also go fuck yourself.
8. The Something Better. A better book came along, and I just…kind of…forgot to finish that one. Sad, but it means there was no question I needed answered badly enough to finish the story.
Who out there always finishes their books? Who’s okay with quitting if it’s not doing it for them? Organize yourselves into two teams and square off…..NOW.
*Though, in that case, it had better be a damn interesting character.
**Fantastic drag name, btw.