Over-the-top characters and writing that let you feel every comic-book gasp and drop of sweat. “Princess of Mars” writing, not literature, and therefore a guilty, but genuine pleasure. But the ending geared up to something exciting and amazing (and if only William Golding could have imbued his Neanderthals with that kind of drama!) I also liked the character names in this story: Keiris, The Microfilm Mind, Haze-Gaunt.
Mr. Harness was a patent lawyer who also wrote, which gives the rest of us writers-in-the-after-hours some comfort. He died just this last September, at the age of 85, and I am honored to have his little book on my list. If not for the best sentences, then for my favorite metaphor – a horizonless chessboard – and for the last line of his book, which he had said was dedicated to his Texan poet laureate friend.
Not huge lessons, but nice ones. Have a secret or a problem that pulls the characters (and the reader) relentlessly through the story. Have a stunning last line.