Saturday, September 18, 2010 By: Suzanne

Short Story Challenge: August Recap


If you missed signing up for the Short Story Challenge, it's not too late.  Each month I will post a recap to discuss what everyone has read for the challenge. Everyone who still wants to sign up, go back to original post (to which I will leave a link in every current post). Then leave comments in the current post.

 Now that September is halfway through...:) Sorry I took so long in posting this. Life. Excuses. :)

I only read one collection this month. Well, 1 1/2. I finished Stories Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, which I loved. I actually loved every story in that collection. A rare feat. Please, go read those stories. I guarantee you will love them too. Not all are sci-fi or fantasy, as you might expect with Neil Gaiman being an editor, but they all have an element of the weird to them. 

The other was Short Stories: The Vintage Collection with stories by classical authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Saki, and Thomas Hardy. While a few of the stories were really good, some were just crap. There is no nice way to put it, they were. I demand so few things from a short story but when those few things are let down, I lose all respect for the story. Some great authors simply should not write short stories. They should stick to full length novels where they have time to develop a story in their own way. A short story needs to tell a complete story. Even if down the line, you take that short story and make it into a full length book, I need to know that what I'm reading it is not simply an opening chapter. I need to feel some sense of completion when I finish. It needs to have closure. It can be weird closure, it can leave me wanting more, but there must be a true ending. Too few of the stories in this collection have that. The main character also needs to be developed. I know this is hard in shorts, but give me a sense of who this character is, why he acts the way he does. Make me love him enough to want to care about his story, because otherwise I will tune it out and get bored. Too few of the stories in this had that also. 

If you like the classical authors and are simply curious, pick it up. If you like short stories and want some good reading, skip it.