56 posts tagged with fiction and shortstory.
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But what I like best of all about my matchbox is that it is an empty one

A letter of thanks for an unusual gift, a poem about a dying queen (with audio of the poet reading it), and a short story about a devoted couple with a shocking secret (with an introduction by Edith Pearlman): all are from the pen of the English novelist, short-story writer, poet, musicologist, translator & biographer; feminist, lesbian & communist Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 8, 2016 - 4 comments

Ras

Marriage and economics have never been independent of one another. The relationship between the two in the affairs of men and women is memorably dramatised in this story by Narendranath Mitra, one of Bengal’s greatest short-story writers. And the narrative time of the story and the arc of the romances within it are marked, too, by the cycle of the seasons in a rural economy, as seen through the life of the protagonist, Motalef, a tapper of palm-trees.
posted by infini on Jul 15, 2016 - 5 comments

“Her phone chimed; a text from Donald. I’m leading in the latest poll.”

‘The Arrangements’: A Work of Fiction by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [The New York Times] The New York Times Book Review asked the acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to write a short story about the American election. A second work of election fiction — by a different writer — will follow this fall. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 2, 2016 - 21 comments

“Seven people were dancing, three couples and Marcel. Midnight.”

This Week In Fiction: Discovering An Unpublished Story by Langston Hughes [The New Yorker]Seven People Dancing” is a story by Langston Hughes that was written, most likely, in the early sixties, but was never published. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 11, 2016 - 5 comments

Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera

SF author (and Mefi's own) Charles Stross is thinking about the cliches in Space Opera and tries to put together a complete list of the hoary genre tropes that literary (no TV or movies) Space Opera is prone to.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2016 - 85 comments

A Few News Items

A short story by Shrilal Shukla, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell. Wherein a politician enters the real world of his constituents.
posted by bardophile on Feb 23, 2016 - 3 comments

Kamp Kafka

Instilling existential dread, for generations to come. "There should be a camp for Jews who don't like camp," I said. "Who feel alienated by camp." To which a colleague exclaimed, "Camp Kafka!" It came together after that. [more inside]
posted by 0cm on Feb 6, 2016 - 9 comments

"Women and cats will do as they please."

Blue Monday - a sci-fi short story by Laurie Penny for Motherboard all about cats, Internet videos, and emotional contagions.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 31, 2015 - 11 comments

Griever

Facebook, funeral homes and the feeding of our lives as we fade away. A horror story by Andrew F. Sullivan for Hazlitt.
posted by dorothyisunderwood on Oct 29, 2015 - 1 comment

The Apocalypse Will Not Be Digitized

Life After A Total Hack. "A short story about the biggest fear you don’t even know you have," by Jon Methven. LinkedIn, eHarmony and Last.fm were all "hacked wide open this week [June 6, 2012] .. But what would happen to us if everything got compromised?" [more inside]
posted by Devika on Sep 24, 2015 - 34 comments

The Tongueless Fish

"I’ve been infected by a parasite. I won’t tell you what because I don’t want you to search for it. By the time this reaches you it won’t matter much, anyway. In fact, I’m forbidding you right now from looking for anything or asking anyone. Apparently I have about twelve hours as myself. They won’t say what happens next, because it’s kind of unpredictable. There are lots of animals who’ve had it, but only two people. They won’t tell me." -- The Glad Hosts, a SF short story by Rebecca Campbell
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2015 - 51 comments

"How many Michaels are there in this world? Nobody told me!"

Michael struggles with this sudden loss of privacy. It's too much for him, and he wants to discuss it at the next meeting.

"I don't have time to myself, either, you know," the Replacement says bitterly.

Michael starts to interrupt, but Dr. Kenston reminds him that the Replacement has the talking stick right now. "You've lived a whole life on your own, Michael," it says. "I've never had that. I've never been by myself. Never even existed completely outside of your abdomen."
The New Middle Class, a short story by Dolan Morgan. [cw: body horror]
posted by divined by radio on Jun 9, 2015 - 14 comments

Who are you?

Answer the following questions in any language(s), formats, or paradigmatic expressions with which you are comfortable. Videographers are available for those most comfortable in physical languages. If you need further support to fully actualize your responses, do not hesitate to ask the Proctor for any materials or mediums you require. When you have finished, virtually or physically attach all answers to this questionnaire.
"Application for the Delegation of First Contact: Questionnaire Part B," a short story by Kathrin Köhler. Additionally: Köhler on the inspirations and influences for this piece.
posted by mixedmetaphors on May 26, 2015 - 12 comments

An eternity with Tootie

Tor.com presents "As Good As New" a short story by Charlie Jane Anders about a girl, the apocalypse, and making sure those three wishes count.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 13, 2014 - 3 comments

So many subtle ways to be human, and so many subtle ways to be wrong.

Tor.com presents Max Gladstone's A Kiss With Teeth, in which an ancient evil settles down and tries out middle-class married life.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 23, 2014 - 31 comments

Fumigation: A Love Story

“Your head is like obsidian,” she says to you, her hand passing North and South and East and West smooth across the surface, erasing away smudges, blood stains (but not scars, no, not scars, never scars) and the exoskeletons of memories bashed against a windshield.
You recall all you learned from geology classes as she continues to stroke your head. The glass forms because something very hot turns very cold, very quickly. This explains what’s happening right now — your body cooling rapidly against hers. Her skin broils, it could turn you into a naked volcanic glass statue and you would not really be surprised. And you would not mind.
Short fiction by Mónica Teresa Ortiz. (Two illustrations contain nonsexual nudity.)
posted by Banknote of the year on Nov 6, 2014 - 7 comments

Where stray or personal thoughts have intruded, you may delete them.

"Black Box," a futuristic spy story by Jennifer Egan. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 31, 2014 - 13 comments

"You've been cockblocked by Zeus, stupid boy, she says. "

"He makes love to her, his first time with a woman, but she's not really a woman—is a woman, then a man, then his exact double, then a peacock, feathers alluringly erect. " Rumaan Alam's "Scene From A Marriage" imagines the domestic bliss of Zeus and Hera and assorted boytoys.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2014 - 7 comments

Cold Pastoral

We were in the stage where we couldn’t make serious eye contact for fear of implying we were too invested. We used euphemisms like “I miss you” and “I like you” and smiled every time our noses got too close.
[more inside] posted by Sokka shot first on May 1, 2014 - 9 comments

The Eternal Ingénue

SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 30, 2014 - 12 comments

Why is Everything Tilted?

Bit Players by Greg Egan (via)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2014 - 19 comments

“Emergent UI Features Team”

Feature Development For Social Networking
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 23, 2013 - 18 comments

Employment Unlocked!

Zero Hours - For a workshop on future London, Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta created 10 Future Londoners for the year 2023. This one describes the working day of 19 year old Nicki, a zero hours retail contractor.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 19, 2013 - 21 comments

"It's a Sugar song."

Orson Scott Card's Unaccompanied Sonata [Google Books], which he has called one of his favorite short stories, is an darkly enchanting tale about a boy who, at a young age, is taken from his family and brought to a house deep in the forest...
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 4, 2013 - 40 comments

The short sci-fi/fantasy/noir/b-movie stories of Richard Kadrey

Richard Kadrey is not the most prolific novelist in the world. Still, every five, six years or so out comes another book like Metrophage, or Kamikaze L'Amour, dark, violent, intense works mostly set in and around Los Angeles with characters straight out of a good punk rock song. The self-confessing film nerd is probably best known for his Sandman Slim series, and if you're impatient for the forthcoming Dead Set novel, you can bide your time with a ton of short stories online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 7, 2013 - 14 comments

The Thames is a Filthy Beast

Down to a Sunless Sea - a new short story by Neil Gaiman published by The Guardian as part of their series of Water stories.
posted by Artw on Mar 23, 2013 - 6 comments

Christmas Present

The Ghosts of Christmas - A spooky SF story for Christmas by Paul Cornell.
posted by Artw on Dec 20, 2012 - 4 comments

Shirley Temple Three

“What I’m about to show you,” he says, “you can’t tell a soul about it. If you did, it would be major trouble. Trouble with a capital ‘T.’ ” He sips his drink and tugs the quilt away.

Mawmaw takes a step back. She’s looking at some kind of elephant. With hair.

“Don’t worry. She’s not dangerous,” Tommy says. “Bread Island Dwarf Mammoth. The last wild one lived about ten thousand years ago. They’re the smallest mammoths that ever existed. Cute, isn’t she?”

The mammoth is waist high, with a pelt of dirty-blond fur that hangs in tangled draggles to the dirt. Its tusks, white and pristine, curve out and up. The forehead is high and knobby and covered in a darker fur. The trunk probes the ground for God-knows-what and then curls back into itself like a jelly roll.

“What’s a goshdern Bread Island Dwarf Whatever doing in my yard?” Mawmaw asks.
Shirley Temple Three by Thomas Pierce
posted by y2karl on Dec 18, 2012 - 17 comments

"I often read dozens of books simultaneously."

My 6,128 Favorite Books - "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 26, 2012 - 150 comments

Farmer's Dilemma

"Farmer's Dilemma" is a short, sad and beautiful comic about family and acceptance. From Sam Alden's art blog, GINGERLAND.
posted by teraflop on Nov 14, 2012 - 13 comments

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants," an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 27, 2012 - 14 comments

Plane of the Ecliptic

Jonathan Strahan’s acclaimed Eclipse series of anthologies is coming to the web as Eclipse Online. The first story is The Contrary Gardener by Christopher Rowe, from Eclipse One.
posted by Artw on Oct 14, 2012 - 5 comments

Take Those Damned Goggles Off

Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2012 - 19 comments

“You’re maybe going to take this journey with me for a spell, People aren’t stones.”

"... That’s the way with epiphanies: You can’t know in advance what they’ll be. Even me. I can see them coming, but I can’t understand something until I understand it.”
T he man who can see the future has a date with the woman who can see many possible futures.
posted by divabat on Aug 9, 2012 - 21 comments

Safari

Jennifer Egan's short story Safari can be read at NewYorker.com (~6600 words), or can be read to you in a wonderful performance by Hope Davis (59:00). Jennifer Egan previously.
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 16, 2012 - 20 comments

Life in the mist

Tove Jansson's short stories about artistic creation are often chillingly cold. The artists she portrays have become lost in their isolated solitude, their creativity, which shuts other people out. Portraits of such loneliness are drawn in three short stories in the collection Lyssnerskan ('The listener', 1971), 'Ekorren' ('The squirrel'), 'Svart & vitt' ('Black & white') and 'Vargen' ('The wolf’), which probably frightened many readers - particularly those who knew and loved her Moomin books - away from Jansson's work. In their cosmos, warmth is unknown; their landscapes are frozen, just like the people who seek expression for their artistic dreams. [more inside]
posted by smcg on May 31, 2012 - 19 comments

Stan's Report

Stan's Report (a short story). Stan waited for me to ask him a question, hoping to tease some curiosity out of me, I suppose, though I don’t want to make assumptions about Stan’s intentions. Whatever his intent, I chose not to ask anything about it, not wanting to start my thinking down that road. It wouldn’t have been fair to B. to talk about him and what he said or meant since he wasn’t there to defend himself or to amend the tone or the full context. I preferred to turn my attention to my e-mail, but I didn’t want to ignore Stan or imply that I disapproved of his interest in sharing his news with me. He had a right to say whatever he wanted and it was up to me to choose how I’d deal with it.
posted by shivohum on May 27, 2012 - 24 comments

Hand On The Shoulder

Hand On The Shoulder, a short story by Ian McEwan. My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with "plume"), and forty years ago, in my final year at Cambridge, I was recruited by the British security service.
posted by shivohum on Apr 23, 2012 - 17 comments

Say It With Safty Pins

The SAFETY PIN REVIEW is a new, weekly literary magazine featuring fiction of less than 30 words, with a major D.I.Y. twist: in addition to being published online, each story is hand-painted onto a cloth back patch, which is attached (via safety pins) to one of our operatives—a collective network of authors, punks, thieves and anarchists—who wear it everywhere they go for a week. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Apr 6, 2012 - 23 comments

Deus Est Machina

In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2011 - 39 comments

The Girl Who Couldn't Come

The Girl Who Couldn't Come - This is a book of dirty stories. It is a book where sex is fun and good and people are kind to each other. Also there are ghosts and there is math and there are obsessive compulsive disorders. (Direct link to eponymous story - NSFW text) [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy on Nov 2, 2011 - 29 comments

Cold Reading

Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2011 - 50 comments

This isn't your grandfather's science fiction

Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2010 - 116 comments

Clearmountain pauses in Jennifer Egan's "Great Rock and Roll Pauses"

Great Rock and Roll Pauses (permalink) is a short story from Jennifer Egan's collection of linked stories A Visit from the Goon Squad. A 76-page series of PowerPoint slides, it's told by a 12-year-old girl who documents her autistic brother's collecting of Clearmountain pauses, the moments in rock and roll songs when the music dramatically stops and then restarts, which are named after famed music producer Bob Clearmountain. The songs mentioned in the story include: Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix; Please Play This Song on the Radio - NOFX; Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zeppelin; Bernadette - The Four Tops; Young Americans - David Bowie; Mighty Sword - The Frames; Supervixen - Garbage; Long Train Runnin’ - The Doobie Brothers; The Time of the Season - The Zombies; Faith - George Michael, Closing Time - Semisonic; Roxanne - The Police; Rearrange Beds - An Horse. More examples can be found in this previous MeFi post and a number of other excellent sites. [more inside]
posted by jng on Dec 25, 2010 - 41 comments

...and they rode on in the friscalating dusk light.

The Ballad of Reading Milton: A short story by then-undergrad Wes Anderson.
posted by shakespeherian on Oct 15, 2010 - 7 comments

Learning to underthink a plate of beans.

On Self-Delusion and Bounded Rationality A short story by M.I.T. faculty member Scott Aaronson about a woman whose rationality got in the way of her happiness. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Jul 24, 2010 - 92 comments

Fifty-Two Stories

Fifty-Two Stories - one short story per week, for free. (via)
posted by backseatpilot on Jul 8, 2009 - 4 comments

Nebula Best Short Story Nominees 2008

StarshipSofa has podcasted all of the Nebula Best Short Story Nominees for 2008, following on from podcasting all but one of the 2008 BSFA short story nominees. Previous StarshipSofa.
posted by Artw on Apr 2, 2009 - 12 comments

We Know You Are Out There

We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.
posted by aheckler on Mar 29, 2009 - 51 comments

At A Deadly pace

The Invasion From Outer Space: Steven Millhauser gives The New Yorker a short, unsettling sci-fi story.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 10, 2009 - 111 comments

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