andros whines about anthologies, Stephen King

So I picked up the new Stephen King, Everything’s Eventual. It’s a collection of 14 short stories, which makes me happy since I tend to agree with King that the format is somewhat beseiged.

I’m about halfway through, not blown away but not particularly disapointed (and it does contain a little bonus info on the next Dark Tower installment, hooray). However . . .

Look, I like author’s notes, especially with short stories. I like to know how the story came about, what research was required, that sort of thing. But I do not want those notes to detract from the story. In King’s previous anthology, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, notes on all the stories were appended to the collection. So the nineteenth hole consisted of a few pages of story notes. This, I like. It’s like “OK, I’m done, now I’d like to see the man behind the curtain please.”

In the new one, the notes are appended to each story, italicized. This is bugging me.

See, I want to savor that last sentence. I want to pause on that blank space after the last line and let the story, well, resonate a little. Hell, there’s one story in Nightmares that brings tears to my eyes. That’s a good story, by ghod.

But when there’s a paragraph after the last line explaining the nuts and bolts about what I just read, my “personal moment” is broken. I don’t want to hear dishes breaking as soon as I finish my dessert, I don’t want to grab my clothes and run immediately after orgasm, and I don’t want to see an author’s note trailing the last sentence of the story.

Yes, it’s in italics and offset, but dammit, that makes it even more distracting for me.

All I ask is this: if it doesn’t give away the story, put it at the beginning of the book or the story. No problemo. If it does rely on having read the story, or contains spoilers, please put it in its own afterword.

Am I just being anal here?


Maybe just a little.

But you say that like being anal is a bad thing!