Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) is the greatest of Brazilian writers, an ironist, realist, and fabulist in the leauge of Chekhov, Flaubert, and Borges. [more inside]
The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure: poignant tales of the justly obscure. The entry on Hans Kafka is a good starting point.
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]
"It's a Good Life" is a 1953 story by Jerome Bixby, who also wrote It! The Terror From Beyond Space, said to be the inspiration for Alien, and the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" (the one with evil bearded Spock.) It was made into a famous Twilight Zone episode, and is generally considered among the greatest SF stories ever written. Is "It's a Good Life" about God? Communism? 1950s suburban conformity? Or just about the horror of the self-contained world it creates in its few pages and the terrible realization that it would be possible to survive inside it, for a while?
Showtime has produced a second installment of Short Stories, featuring the work of independent animators and filmmakers asked simply to "tell a short story in an innovative way." *Cyriak Harris - Cobwebs* *Bill Plympton - Summer Bummer* *Simon Tofield - Simon's Cat - Lunch Break* [more inside]
Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet...Today is the feast of Epiphany, the last day of the traditional Christmas season; the day also when the Misses Morkan held that grand affair, their annual dance, in James Joyce's "The Dead." [more inside]
Since the time of Dickens there has been a long-standing tradition of telling spooky stories on Christmas Eve... Who better to be a guide to a selection of ghostly tales than faux-Edwardian and author of Supernatural Horror in Literature, Mr. Howard P Lovecraft? Scaretastic suggetions from some of his favourite authors within... [more inside]
I have just discovered ABE books "Booksleuth" forum, where people help each other remember that "lost" story or book.
Stories made from: microspores, fog maps, infected bass samples, mathematics, patterns of decay, broken machines, blood, code bugs…
Life Starts Here is a collection of short stories about people either directly or indirectly involved in the video game industry. You may know the author, Duncan Fyfe, from his blog Hit Self-Destruct, which ran from 2007 to 2009. [more inside]
What with Borders going belly-up and no new books being written ever, avid readers fear that their chief means of edification and entertainment may no longer be viable. Fear not, and look backwards. Over at The Guardian, Chris Power has spent the last few years telling giving us A Brief Survey Of The Short Story. A lot of my favourites are there, and I am discovering others I am keen to try. What about you?
'Herman Wouk Is Still Alive' a new short story by Stephen King. Interview where, among other things, King discusses the origins of the story, his creative process in general, the status of the short story today, and his liking for Judas Priest. [more inside]
"I ought to warn you, if you haven't read any of my stories, that you may be a little disturbed by some of the things that happen."
Though Roald Dahl is better known in this day as the author of stories for children, he had a parallel career as the author of short stories with more adult, macabre sensibilities. Some of those stories became part of a short-run series to fill the slot of to not one but two ill-fated Jackie Gleason shows. But instead of another game show or talk show, CBS wanted something to pair with the Twilight Zone. That show was Way Out, though it didn't rate well and only ran for 14 episodes (and 5 episodes are on Archive.org). 18 years later, Dahl returned to TV with his sinister stories, but this time it was in the UK, where Tales of the Unexpected lasted 9 seasons, 112 episodes in total. You can view 23 or so episodes online, split into parts (YT Playlist). [more inside]
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]
"The Dungeon Master", a short-story about Dungeons and Dragons by Sam Lipsyte in this weeks New Yorker.
‘We feel that the stories in this book are such that if your nerves are not of the strongest, then it is wise to read them in daylight.' For a certain time, in every second-hand bookshop in the UK you would always be able to find a musty and dog-eared copy of one or more of the Pan Books Of Horror Stories edited by the splendidly named Herbert Van Thal. Now the first is being re-printed. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman has been busy lately, winning the Carnegie Medal, defending libraries, fighting Todd MacFarlane in court again, and admiting that his first book was about Duran Duran. He's also taken time to ask the question: Shouldn't good writing tell a story too?
StarShipSofa (previously) celebrates it's 100th issue as a podcast science fiction magazine with StarShipSofa Stories volume 1, an anthology of stories previously podcasted by StarShipSofa, available either as a POD book from Lulu or as a free e-book download, featuring the likes of Michael Moorcock, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, Joe R Lansdale, Alastair Reynolds, and Elizabeth Bear.
Part short story forum, part attempt to reach out to isolated teens struggling with their sexuality. I'm from Driftwood; true stories by gay people all over.
A guide to Storyreading. "For over ten years now, various friends and I have been getting together on occasion to read stories aloud to each other. This activity—graced with the unlovely but utilitarian name "story reading"—can be a great deal of fun, but can also be rife with pitfalls of various sorts. This guide is an attempt to help others to run story readings. Note that reading stories is different from—and, generally, much easier than—telling stories; while people do occasionally tell stories at these gatherings (and it usually goes over well), that's not the primary emphasis...The origins of our approach to story readings are lost in the mists of antiquity. The idea may have sprung fully-fledged from a conversation I had with DH about a Delany essay called "On Pure Storytelling"; or it may've been derived from MK's reading The Princess Bride aloud, which in turn may've been inspired by folks at Yale who were doing much the same thing. Whatever the history, it's clear that other groups—notably one in Boston—have been having similar sorts of readings for at least as long as we have." [more inside]
The Dollar Dreadful Family Library offers gripping tales of scientific adventures in matrimony, mysterious Appalachian woodsmen, macabre travels in the ether, exotic travels in distant lands, itinerant prospectors, and cunning detectives who pose as genteel dressmakers. Assorted amusements are offered in the form of downloadable PDF booklets, perfect leisure literature for "the distinguished reader or the particularly wealthy dunder-head".
New Yorker fiction 2008. Annotated list of short fiction from the past year. "As perhaps the most high-profile venue for short fiction in the world, taking stock of the New Yorker's year in fiction is a worthwhile exercise for writers and readers alike."
Clarkesworld Magazine has been serving up new science fiction and fantasy short fiction monthly free of charge since October of 2006. The current issue has a story by Robert Reed. Among the authors who have been published in Clarkesworld Magazine are Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff VanderMeer and Sarah Monette. Clarkesworld has a podcast of readings of selected stories from the magazine. The magazine also publishes non-fiction, separated into two categories, commentary and interviews. Among those interviewed are Gene Wolfe, Kage Baker and Steven Erikson. There is also a covers gallery and a discussion forum.
The Princess of Nebraska premiered on YouTube this weekend (unrated by MPAA, but 18A+ rating, but on YouTube, so maybe mild NSFW). Often focusing on Chinese immigrants in America and culture gaps (NPR interview; text and audio) between both their new country and across generations, director Wayne Wang has returned to his roots after several more traditional Hollywood movies (Wayne Wang Is Missing). (Known for "Chan Is Missing" and "The Joy Luck Club", he has made movies such as "Maid in Manhattan" recently.) "Princess" is intended as a double feature with traditionally released "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," "Princess" might "be the first feature feature film by a major director to premiere" only on the internet. Both are based on short stories by Yiyun Li.
Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside]
Here are the essays and short stories originally published in The New Yorker that were later collected in Houghton Mifflin’s annual “Best American” anthology series (1915-present). [more inside]
Over 2000 classic short stories from American Literature as well as an option to sign up for a short story of the day rss feed. Among the authors on offer are Kate Chopin, Saki, O. Henry, Louisa May Alcott, Ambrose Bierce, H. P. Lovecraft, Jack London, James Joyce, Willa Cather, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Dickens, Herman Hesse, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Honoré de Balzac, Edith Warton, P. G. Wodehouse, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes, Leo Tolstoy, Aldous Huxley, Roald Dahl, Henry James, Katherine Mansfield and I could keep going for a while. The point is, there's over 2000 short stories in there.
7 short stories by Roberto Bolaño Gómez Palacio, The Insufferable Gaucho, Álvaro Rousselot’s Journey, Phone Calls, Dance Card. From Nazi Literature in the Americas: Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce, Luz Mendiluce Thompson & Ernesto Pérez Masón and The Fabulous Schiaffino Boys. If you know the fiction of Roberto Bolaño you know what you're in for. If you don't, any of these stories is a good place to start, though the first three are perhaps the most natural starting points. [more inside]
Would you like to read classic science fiction short story A Pail of Air? Or would you prefer to listen? [more inside]
201 Stories by Anton Chekhov translated by Constance Garnett presented in order of Russian publication.
"The Great God Pan," by Arthur Machen. "The Beckoning Fair One," by Oliver Onions. "Green Tea," by J. Sheridan LeFanu. "The Boarded Window," by Ambrose Bierce. "The Horla," by Guy de Maupassant.
"“If the book were to be published as it is in its present edited form, I may never write another story, that’s how closely, God Forbid, some of those stories are to my sense of regaining my health and mental well-being.” The New York Times reported today that Raymond Carver's widow, Tess Gallagher, is pushing to republish the stories in Carver's acclaimed 1981 breakout collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," in their original, unedited form. [more inside]
Here are four classic short stories by John Collier in four different forms: the original text of his famous "Thus I Refute Beelzy"; a 1947 radio script for "Evening Primrose"; a radio version of "Back for Christmas", starring Peter Lorre; and Patton Oswalt's interpretation of "The Chaser."
You should read these three stories by Amy Hempel. (Oh, and maybe listen to her read, here.) While you're at it, read some of these idiosyncratic but beautifully-written stories by grammarian Gary Lutz.
Classic Short Stories — "Fewer and fewer people these days read short stories. This is unfortunate—so few will ever experience the joy that reading such fine work can give. The goal of this site is to give a nice cross section of short stories in the hope that these short stories will excite these people into rediscovering this excellent source of entertainment." Authors represented include Saki, Edith Wharton, O. Henry, Guy de Maupassant, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Gabriel García Marquez, H. G. Wells, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, Charles Dickens, William Carlos Williams and Katherine Mansfield.
Five Chapters. Weekly, serialized short fiction edited by David Daley, the man behind McSweeney's 20-Minute Stories Contest. Some contributors so far: Vendela Vida, Arthur Phillips, Sam Lipsyte, Anthony Swofford, Jess Walter, Stewart O'Nan.
SF writers only use six words. A collection of six word epics from the cream of contemporary SF writers. Can Mefi do better? I reckon!
"Excuse me," Schwartzman said to the Home Depot man, "can you tell me where to find tar?" "Tar?" asked the Home Depot man. "What're you using tar for?" "I'm building an ark," said Schwartzman. If there was anything that two years of completing God's preposterous homework assignments had taught Schwartzman it was that there was absolutely nothing you could tell Home Depot Man you were building that would surprise him, that would get any reaction from him at all, for that matter, aside from the usual skepticism about your choice of building materials.Shalom Auslander recasts Jewish history in short story form. Start with the aforementioned "Prophet's Dilemma," and work your way backwards to "Plagued." [more inside]
ShortStoryFilter. Submit, link and vote for short stories. A lot of it may be a bit sub-McSweeney's at the moment, but with a bit of luck, The Lit List might scratch a readerly itch or two.
2 4 8 16 32 64... Storybytes, an ordered archive of nanofiction. It's been done before, by syllables (17), by the masters (Classic Short Stories), and by comedians (Book-a-Minute). But in a dense natural language, with a high meaning-per-word, perhaps bytes would value infodensity more objectively: 256b, 1k, 4Kb. But then again, isn't a spec as much of a cop out as a rigged dictionary? Perhaps the highest infodensities are achieved by works which will have no human readers.
a short story by David Langford.
a short story by David Langford.
School stories (long out of print in English) of Frigyes Karinthy. Short, funny, and occasionally bittersweet; favorites include The Good Student and The Bad Student Tested, and Hanging From the Apparatus.
Flash Fiction is a site which publishes short stories (under 1000 words). While the format (3 columns, not evenly filled) is a little annoying, the concept is interesting. My favorite story so far is 'A leaf falls', in the first column scroll halfway down the page. The site is maintained by a writer/ artist/musician, whose eventual aim is to print the stories on coffee mugs. Morning reading anyone?
Everyone is talking about Clint Eastwood's new movie, Million Dollar Baby (trailer). What you may not know however is that the movie was based on a short story in a book by the name of Rope Burns: Stories From The Corner by the late F.X. Toole (aka Jerry Boyd). The book by the way was called, "...the best boxing short fiction ever written," by James Ellroy of L.A. Confidential fame. Back in 2000 Toole gave an amazing interview on Fresh Air about spending the last 20 years of his life as a cut man and the last 40 years of writing while trying to overcome his fear of rejection before getting his first book published at age 70.