Trigger Warnings is a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman, I believe his third collection. It’s a pretty meh collection, practically all of the stories were forgotten the moment I turned the page. I find this to be true of most of his short stories if I’m honest, I like (and occasionally love) his novels, but his short stories generally leave me cold. That this collection is so bland is rather ironic considering the tittle.
Before I get into the actual stories, I do want to say I’m kind of angry at him for the tittle and his introduction. I mean its CLASSIC clueless privileged male who doesn’t really understand what a trigger warning is and decides that they’re mockworthy. And on the one hand, I get it-if I were unfamiliar with them I too would think them silly things. After all, reading ought to be about opening the mind, if we were to warn for disturbing content so that people can avoid it aren’t we just building a society where people avoid things that bother them? Except that’s not what trigger warnings are for; they aren’t for avoiding things that bother you, they’re to help you avoid things that send you spiraling down the cycle of anxiety or depression because that specific thing triggers an emotional reaction in you which you literally (not figuratively- literally) can not handle. Basically, it’s a situation of a person who can’t understand why some people need wheelchair ramps and so mocks the ramps by placing them in front of windows. Or something.
So yes, I went into this collection annoyed, but also curious to see exactly what Gaiman thought would be trigger warning worthy. And my reaction was a resounding ‘meh’. Honestly, I don’t remember more than two or three of the stories. One of them was a Doctor Who story, featuring my favorite pairing Eleven and Amy. It would have made a decent Doctor Who episode I’m sure, and I did enjoy it. In fact, if there is a campaign to get Gaiman to pick up Doctor Who when Moffat ends his run then I could get behind it. Another one I remember, and even liked, was a Sherlock Holmes story, original flavor, where Sherlock goes in search of a cure for death. Beyond that, I couldn’t much say.
It’s a fine collection, but it just didn’t really do much for me. Not a single story was above a three star rating (meaning I liked it just fine), and most were so completely forgettable I just can’t rate the collection as a whole above two stars. I think if you’re a bigger fan of Gaiman then I am, i.e. you really enjoy his short stories this might be a collection to pick up.