« Freedom Fighter | Main | A New Book!!! By Me!!! That You Can Buy!!! »

August 02, 2012

Comments

J Steven York

Though I've been reading mystery novels practically forever, I only started reading mystery short fiction regularly a year or two ago, when I subscribed to Hitchcock's and Ellery Queen on my Kindle. I've got to say, I'm really enjoying it. There's been a lot more variety than I'd expected, and I've read a lot of excellent stories.

Okay, just off-the-cuff, a few things I like about reading short-stories, for the uninitiated:

1. A chance to discover new writers I'd otherwise have never have heard of.

2. A chance to read writers I already enjoy in novels doing something different (occasionally wildly different), and often discovering that I enjoy that aspect of their work too.

3. A chance to enjoy different kinds of mystery/crime stories that wouldn't work in novel length. I've long suspected that novels aren't really the natural length for a lot of mystery stories, and that many are padded to length. I find myself getting increasingly annoyed when, as the detective closes in, the real killer starts killing off the other suspects one-by-one in a clumsy and ineffectual effort to hide their identity, when the most reasonable thing to do would simply be to cut their losses and run like hell. Short stories, by necessity, trim the fat, and can be much more satisfying for it.

4. A chance to read favored novel characters in different kinds of stories. Quite a few writers do this, write short stories with their novel characters. Some will even write stories featuring secondary characters who get a rare chance to shine, or that look at their detectives from unusual viewpoints you'd never seen in a novel. Some will also use short stories as a way of filling in background.

In other words, if you haven't tried the mystery magazines, give it a go. And I know they can be hard to find on newsstands these days, so electronic versions are a handy way to sample them and decide if they're worth subscribing to.

Facebook

I'm with you, short stories are sorely missing from the scene, partially, I think, because it can be tough to tell a riviting story when hampered by space contrictions, and few can do it well.

But when it works, its awesome! (partially, I think, because it forces the writer to trim out all the gas-baggy muck...)

Can't wait to read your new stuff!

Owen Garratt
www.pencilneck.com

Esri Allbritten

I love your short stories. Am reading Dear Mr. Holmes right now - great stuff.

I took at look at your link to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. My whole family used to watch that show, riveted, and now it looks so cheesy and set-up, with hardly a shot containing both the guys and the animals. Good times...

Steve

Excellent points, Steve. I have to admit -- for a guy who writes and occasionally bloviates about short fiction, I don't *read* it nearly as much as I should. A new vow: the next thing I grab off my TBR pile will be a collection, an anthology or a fiction magazine.

Thanks for the big thumbs up, Owen! That thumbs up in your pic is just for me, right?

And thanks for picking up (and publicly endorsing) Dear Mr. Holmes, Esri! I only watched a few minutes of the Wild Kingdom footage, but I'm with you: staged staged staged. But, oh, the fond memories I have of gathering with the family on Sunday night to eat Old El Paso tacos and watch that show. In my memory, it always came on right before The Wonderful World of Disney...In Color! (I know. I'm old.)

J Steven York

I used to watch the show every Sunday too, and in my teens, I did a passing good Marlin Perkins imitation, and my stock line was always, "While Jim wrestles the deadly anaconda in the swamp, I watch from the helicopter through powerful binoculars..."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Bookmark and Share
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2006