This week, our Free Culture Book Club reads Full Bloom.
To give this series some sense of organization, check out some basic facts without much in the way of context.
- Full Title: Full Bloom
- Location: https://cohost.org/vaudevilleghost/post/1432517-short-story-full-bl
- Released: 2023
- License: CC-BY-SA
- Creator: R.S. Mason
- Medium: Short story
- Length: Approximately 9,600 words
- Content Advisories: Child neglect and abuse, mob violence.
This should go without saying—even though I plan to repeat it with every Book Club installment—but Content Advisories do not suggest any sort of judgment on my part, only topics that come up in the work that I noticed and might benefit from a particular mood or head space for certain audiences. I provide it to help you make a decision, rather than a decision in and of itself.
I don’t know that I have anything useful to say to introduce the story. In presenting the post, even the author only said this.
I finished a short story, which you can read below, if you want. Licensed CC-BY-SA 4.0 to R.S. Mason.
The author also sometimes posts other interesting things on Cohost. And now, you know everything that I know about the story…
What Works Well?
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say here, because I enjoyed the story so completely. It has some great ideas, and sketches out a much broader world than the village we see. The characters all have motivations and some personality to them. And (with some exceptions) almost nothing in the story feels like waste, or only about image or some character nudging us closer to the ending.
What Works…Less Well?
Most frustrating in my eyes, nothing in this story has a name. We have about half a dozen interesting characters, multiple locations, at least one organization, and more, but everybody and everything gets mentioned either by its general, descriptive noun (“the village”) or by their relationship to the protagonist. This will make it hard, later, to talk about adapting aspects of the story.
While I don’t find the characters a huge imposition, the parents seem redundant, neither of them serving a particularly strong narrative purpose, in a story where everything and everybody else seems critical in getting us to the ending. Yes, the father introduces the “boss,” and the mother nominally cares for her daughters, but the story could work around them far faster than it could the Seeker, who gets less attention.
I don’t see anything mentioned anywhere about community or support.
As mentioned, nothing in this story has a name, so we don’t really get much, as far as I can see, other than the Order and its Seekers, and even then, they join the Order of What, exactly? At the end, we get a vague sense of the fallen empire and its infrastructure, but even that has no name. The book does provide plenty of interesting ideas, though.
Coming up next week, we’ll listen to a music album, ½.
As mentioned previously, by the way, the list of potential works to discuss has run low, so I need to ask for help, again. If you know of any works—or want to create them—that fit these posts (fictional, narrative, Free Culture, available to the public, and not by creators who we’ve already discussed), please tell me about them. Every person who points me to at least one appropriate work with an explanation will receive a free membership on my ☕ Buy Me a Coffee page.
Anyway, while we wait for that, what did everybody else think about the novel?
Credits: The header image is untitled by an uncredited PxHere photographer, made available under the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
By commenting, you agree to follow the blog's Code of Conduct and that your comment is released under the same license as the rest of the blog. Or do you not like comments sections? Continue the conversation in the #entropy-arbitrage chatroom on Matrix…Tags: freeculture bookclub