[a:Regan Wolfrom|4412900|Regan Wolfrom|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1347634977p2/4412900.jpg] writes a semi-regular free-stuff posting, where he collects all the free SF&F ebooks he's found on the Internet that week, on SF Signal
. Conveniently, that means he gets to push his own stories from time to time. [b:Gnome on Girl on Gnome: A Love Story|15724934|Gnome on Girl on Gnome A Love Story|Regan Wolfrom|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340813493s/15724934.jpg|19204129]
was one of those that I downloaded, back in July, but hadn't got around to reading until now.
Marguerite is a girl who's never been in love. She wants to be, she just doesn't seem sure how to go about it, until while out walking she finds two plastic garden gnomes. I think we can all pretty much guess how the story pans out from the title, and it's too short a story for anything in the way of twists and turns. Although, the one swerve at the end (it's not unexpected enough to be a proper twist) saves the story from what would have been a disappointingly obvious ending.
My issues with the story were two-fold. Firstly, the sex was a little on the rapey side of things – Marguerite is a girl looking for love, not lust but love, yet she's down with the gnomes with barely a pause, let alone holding out for dinner and a movie, or even just getting their names
. Secondly, overall the story just feels too thin. There's obviously not much time for characterisation or world-building in a short story, but even Bradley the brother seems to have more depth than Marguerite or the gnomes do.
I feel slightly awkward writing this review now. The author has already commented on my 2-star rating to say that he's updated the story in the latest edition – as the short story is no longer available on Amazon I assume that he's referring to its inclusion in his new collection of short stories [b:Catholic Guilt and the Joy of Hating Men|16121553|Catholic Guilt and the Joy of Hating Men|Regan Wolfrom|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353007823s/16121553.jpg|21942244]
. I think I have a tendency to be harder on short-stories than novels, but I didn't dislike this I just didn't actively
like it. That said, I've got a few of his other short stories to read and I've entered the giveaway for his new collection, so it's far from a lost cause...