Monday, October 01, 2007

Short stories

Stephen King looks at the state of American short stories and calls it alive but not well. His solution? Buy the book he just edited. He notes you can also subscribe to the various journals and magazines that publish short stories, but this is an expensive proposition.

Short stories are a tough sell, as the authors are little known and reading short story collections is tough. Most include different authors and the switch of voice can be jarring. In the case of a single author collection, the range of quality tends to be a problem. I don't mind skipping a story or two, but if it gets too much, I put the whole collection down.

Internet journals that can maintain strict quality control may be the best means of distributing short stories. The costs to the publisher and reader are minimal and the short duration makes reading them online tolerable. At the very least it can help these writers develop some name recognition.

4 comments:

Neill said...

There are few authors I like more than George Saunders. He is strictly short stories as far as I know, well with the exception of a children's book. I thin kYou read some of him didn't you t?

Tripp said...

I have been meaning to do so, but I have not.

Hakim said...

Dear Sir/Ms,

Just a note to let you know we've added your site to our blog spotted section. We are librians in Singapore who run a book-related blog site, and can be found at http://blogs.nlb.gov.sg/highbrowseonline/

Tripp said...

Hakim,

Thanks so much for the link and the kind words. As to the slightly sad blog title, it is meant ironically, but I think it comes off either as pathetic or mean-spirited. Too late to change now though.

Tripp