You’ve probably read all the stories you ever want to about killer sows from outer space, but mine is a little different …
The Sobering Saga of Myrtle the Manuscript. A cautionary tale.
Gauche the Cellist [Google video, 63 minutes] is based on a story [Japanese; English translation #1, #2] by Kenji Miyazawa, one of the most-loved poet/storytellers in Japan (Miyazaki and Takahata love his works, and have been influenced by him). The movie was made as an independent project by a Japanese animation studio, OH Production (wiki), and took 6 years to complete. It is rather difficult to make a Kenji story into a movie because there are many Japanese just waiting to rip you apart if you screw up, but Gauche has been highly acclaimed, and is considered one of the best Miyazawa movies (IMDb). The story is about a cellist, Gauche, who becomes a better cellist by interacting with animals who visit his home every night. *
Every Monday The Library of America features a free Story of the Week. It could be anything -- a short work of fiction, a character sketch, an essay, a journalist’s dispatch, a poem -- taken from from one of the hundreds of classic books in the LoA collection. Archive of 83 weeks so far.
Coverhithe : While you wait for his next book, the Guardian has a new short story from China Mieville.
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond and The Picture in The House, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership" pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
Going for a Beer. A short story.
This one particular boy’s goal was to be able to press his lips to every square inch of his own body.
“Listen, those cops are going to have to shoot me or let me stay in here until Christmas is over, and that’s all there is to it.”
The Super Secret International American Time Box by Miracle Jones
Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
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]
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]
Twelve Tales of Christmas is a podcast just launched by The Guardian featuring notable modern authors, such as Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith, Colm Toíbin and Julian Barnes, reading one of their favorite short stories, by authors including JG Ballard, Katherine Mansfield, Italo Calvino, Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver. A story will be posted daily for the next 12 days. The first author and story is Philip Pullman reading The Beauties by Anton Chekhov (mp3). [rss, iTunes]
The December Lights Project: A short story archive An archive of fanciful, feel-good stories that will keep updating throughout December. These are tremendous fun if you like scifi, magic and fantasy. One of my favorites so far is Queen of the Kitchen, by Karen Healey.
"Hokkaido Green," a lovely short story for the overworked and the stressed this Monday morning.
The Ballad of Reading Milton: A short story by then-undergrad Wes Anderson.
His Masters Voice by Hannu Rajaniemi, the Edinburgh based Finnish physicist currently causing a big stir in Hard SF - also features doggies and kitties. Audio version and interview at StarShipSofa. Review of The Quantum Thief at Locus. Bonus story: Elegy for a Young Elk.
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]
In the tiny lifeboat, she and the alien fuck endlessly, relentlessly. - Kij Johnson's Spar, the winning short story of this years Nebula award. Audio version. Interview. More stories by Kij Johnson. Kitty chaser: The Cat Who Walked A Thousand Miles.
“Animal brains have to be illegal, They’re a gateway to human brains.” - Those Below, short fiction by horror writer Jeremy C. Shipp.
Famously reclusive American author J.D. Salinger has died at 91. The author of The Catcher in the Rye, a novel alternatively banned and labeled the Great American Novel, Salinger was also among the last authors whose short stories were routinely published in magazines. Salinger's other published works include Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories & Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. [more inside]
"The constant undertone of the singing formed the theme that bound her mind together, no matter how many different things she might do at one time."
"The Gentle Seduction," by Marc Stiegler. A non-techie lives before, through, and after the Singularity. (via Reddit) [more inside]
The Things - The Thing from the point of view of the thing, by Peter Watts (previously, previously, previously)
The foreign exchange student "Some years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to live with us. We found it very difficult to pronounce his name correctly, but he didn’t mind. He told us just to call him 'Eric'." A short story in pictures by Shaun Tan. Previously.
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.
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.
The Invasion From Outer Space: Steven Millhauser gives The New Yorker a short, unsettling sci-fi story.
Daniel Keys' classic 1959 Science Fiction story "Flowers for Algernon", which takes place in a series of diary entries, has been posted online as a blog. Of course, you'll need to read it backwards, from the earliest entry to the latest, to avoid giving away the ending... [via]
Being Raymond Carver Often referred to as the American Chekhov, Raymond Carver was a master of the American short story. [more inside]
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.
“No dogs bark” by Juan Rulfo is the story of a father carrying his son, a mortally wounded bandit, through the mountains to find a doctor. In Spanish and in English translation.
"...so what we got now is Brokeback Mountain." The New Yorker republishes Anne Proulx's orginal short story. Here's a recent Bookslut interview with the author, and a discussion on turning the short story into a screenplay.
Where I'm Likely To Find It is a new short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami (previously discussed here and here). The story is similar in feel to his latest novel, Kafka on the Shore which was released in English this year.
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.
Following up on our discussion of a classic Salinger short story, I find myself surprised - nay, shocked - that nobody has posted a link to the classic short story "Guts" by Chuck Palahniuk.
Anacrusis is a collection of short stories. Very short stories, written under a strict length constraint. It's a perfect way to get your daily dose of weird, funny, thought-provoking fiction.
The Horror of Blimps. This is just a short ROTFL funny story about a toy blimp gone bad. Brightened my day, anyway. (Thanks, Ken.)
The Greatest Stories Ever Told (in Esquire) The magazine picks six candidates to be the best story from its first 70 years. Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" was their choice as the best.
Finally! The New Yorker publishes a short story that's actually worth reading. Tim O'Brien riffs on weight loss and a certain reclusive genius--highly entertaining stuff just right for a sluggish Saturday afternoon. For extra credit: why is so much literary fiction so mind-numbingly dull these days?
An interesting structure (gimmick? excuse?) for short fiction and essays -- The current topic is Aluminum -- "The roll of Alcoa is in the kitchen, in the drawer by the sink. Go get it. Now. Cover your head entirely, using all of the roll just to be safe. Be sure it's loose enough so you can breathe. Leave a tiny slit to see through, about as wide as a line of type on your computer monitor. Lean your head forward, close to the CRT, so you can read these words, a line at a time. Are you ready? Good. Now let's talk about the dangers of exposure to computer monitors. "
third times a charm. after three different deadlines, two different formats, and a partidge in a pear tree, i'm still not sure if my entry got through. it's true, writers get no respect
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