Thursday, October 18, 2007

Have you read any amazing stories recently?

Jeff VanderMeer is asking his blog readers for any Short Fiction That Blew Your Socks Off. So if any stories you've read have really been amazing (especially if you think they'd be the type of story to impress that crowd), then go share them there. I've already shared a few that I'd mentioned on this blog in the past.

The broader context of this question is in a variety of discussions on the state of short fiction, which so many people seem to believe is dying. I must admit to feeling overall optimistic and excited about the state of the short fiction field--from a reader standpoint, I'm just discovering a lot of writers doing exciting things. Some of those have been writing for years, so my more recent discovery of them skews my overall impression. But usually when I see people lamenting the death of short fiction, it's all about rosy-tinted nostalgia for the type of stories they liked when they were wee lads, and what we really need is for writers to forget any ambition when it comes to craft and style. That's easy to dismiss. But of course, it's also not VanderMeer's take on the issue either, so his comments are something worth a lot more consideration.

(It's a bit of a side issue, but from a writer's standpoint I'm also optimistic--I'm finding a lot of venues that I'd love to be in, that are doing exciting things, and that seem to be surviving just fine. Yes, there have been some disappointing closures, but it seems there are as many new venues that open as those that close. I've only been actively paying attention to the market for a few years, so I have little to compare it to...but also no nostalgia for supposedly better times that probably actually weren't.)

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