FAQ #5: Do I have to submit the *first* two chapters?

I am immensely annoyed because I just wrote a long thoughtful post about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which I finished reading last week), touching on aesthetics and racism and moral points and Jane Smiley. And then Blogger ate my post, quotes and all, and licked its lips afterward, so it looks as if the writing is to be its own reward. Bah. But I want to post something, so here's FAQ #5, because again it's a quickie:

Do you prefer it always to be the first two chapters of the manuscript or can it be two chapters a bit further in provided we include the synopsis required of SQUID submissions?

You should always include the first chapter, because it doesn't matter what happens later in the book if you can't make me care about the characters at the beginning. And I really, really prefer to read the second chapter immediately after that, so I can see how you develop the situation you lay out in the first chapter. HOWEVER, if you feel the second chapter does not represent the action or tone or whatever of the novel so well as another chapter further in, you may certainly send along that other chapter instead. But you should recognize that you'll be jerking me out of the world you establish in the first chapter and forcing me to completely reorient myself in that later chapter; so you should be really confident that the later chapter is a better example of your book's overall strengths.

Best of luck to you!