The Short Story Thread

  1. AlexH

    AlexH Well-Known Member

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    I'm catching up with Writers of the Future after starting with Volume 30 a few years ago. I've read two stories in Volume 31, and they're my favourite I've read in the series already.

    Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light by Sharon Joss didn't grip me immediately, but turned into one of the best stories I've read. A human colony on a distant planet, with Charles Darwin and Romeo & Juliet combined to great effect.

    Switch by Steve Pantazis was excellent too. It's a detective story set in a recognisable future, where there's a rather addictive and dangerous drug. I didn't think I'd like it at first, but it got to the stage where I wanted to sleep and couldn't put it down.
     
  2. night_wrtr

    night_wrtr Well-Known Member

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    @AlexH I recently read volume 30 over the last few months. It was exceptional. My favorite story was Giants at the End of the World by Leena Likitalo. Only about 10 pages, but the story was solid. The story is about a caravan driver and a girl on a journey to the End of the World where the last of the giants dwell. Characters were well defined and it had an emotional punch, despite the short length.

    I haven't read any other volumes of WotF, but I probably will at some point.
     
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  3. AlexH

    AlexH Well-Known Member

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    @night_wrtr I enjoyed that story too. My favourite from 30 was the last story, Memories Bleed Beneath the Mask. I liked every story in that volume, which is very good going, but there was nothing I'd consider among my all-time favourites - whereas the two I've read so far in volume 31, I would. I'm readying my own submission, and 30 gave me hope I could reach the standard, whereas those two in 31 - no chance! ;)
     
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  4. night_wrtr

    night_wrtr Well-Known Member

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    I'll check out 31 next then! I am also working on a submission that is in the editing stage. Hoping to submit either this quarter or the next.
     
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  5. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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  6. GeneralZoo

    GeneralZoo New Member

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    Loved Volume 30. Giants at the End of the World was also one of my favs.
     
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  7. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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  8. Victoria Silverwolf

    Victoria Silverwolf Vegetarian Werewolf

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    Nice summation. I agree that Compelling is quite interesting. My recommendation from that issue was "Integration" but I can see "Thinking Inside the Box" as a contender also.
     
  9. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Thanks. :) I just read your review (one of the cons of doing this is I avoid reading reviews until I've posted, though I do then get to enjoy an orgy of review reading all at once) and liked it. I hadn't precisely ordered the stories but, now that you make me think of it, "Integration" would have to be my second favorite. And you make an especially good point that I don't think I made as clearly regarding the Angell - it's kind of amazing it's as plausible and effective as it is given that a one-line synopsis sounds... not so plausible. ;)
     
  10. AlexH

    AlexH Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested to know what you think when you get around to it. The 2 stories I read first (Sharon Joss & Steve Pantazis) ended up being my clear favourites. Others I liked a lot were:

    Planar Ghosts by Krystal Claxton
    Rough Draft by Keven J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
    Wisteria Melancholy by Michael T. Banker

    I found one story unreadable - every sentence was made up of 5 words. I'll try and read it some other time. Other than that, I enjoyed every story once again.

    Did you get your submission in? The critique of mine came back with A LOT of work. So I'm concentrating on some shorter fiction before I go back to it.
     
  11. D.A. Xiaolin Spires

    D.A. Xiaolin Spires SFF writer & reader

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    Thanks for the suggestion! I just read this after reading your post and it was really beautiful and touching. I also enjoyed the feel of the landscape. I remember being indoctrinated into the world of caravans and covered wagons in elementary school, and some of the imagery at play in this story returned me to this childlike wonder of the great expanse and the idea of venturing into the unknown.
     
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  12. AlexH

    AlexH Well-Known Member

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    The View from Endless Scarp by Marta Randall gave me this sort of impression, but had me more involved with the main character. You both might like it.
     
  13. night_wrtr

    night_wrtr Well-Known Member

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    Been working on my novel's first draft recently. I expect to be done with it in the next month or so, then I will do some revisions on the WoTF submission. Basically I've been letting it sit, but I did get some good feedback that will help the editing when I get back to it. It won't be long before I send it off.
     
  14. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Summation of Online Fiction: July 2017 - links to the top several stories (and comments on them) from the July SF/F webzines.

    Anybody wants to discuss any of these or pitch in their favorites, please do.
     
  15. Victoria Silverwolf

    Victoria Silverwolf Vegetarian Werewolf

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    Just today I read Tor.com's stories for the month (for Tangent) and I also really liked "The Martian Obelisk" and recommended it.
     
  16. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Cool. I look forward to your review. Rocket Stack Rank gave it four (of five) stars as well and I know Dozois, for instance, isn't averse to publishing Nagata stories in his Year's Bests. It wouldn't surprise me if it ended up in one of them.
     
  17. Victoria Silverwolf

    Victoria Silverwolf Vegetarian Werewolf

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    Here's my take on the Nagata story:

     
  18. AlexH

    AlexH Well-Known Member

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    Roughly how many stories would you say you read a month? I pop a fair few of your (and @Victoria Silverwolf's) recommendations on my reading list, but I've no idea when I'll get around to reading them!
     
  19. Victoria Silverwolf

    Victoria Silverwolf Vegetarian Werewolf

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    Well, let's see.

    I read a fair amount of collections and anthologies on my own. The number of stories varies enormously, of course, because I also read novels, but maybe a very rough average would be twenty stories per month from that source. I do a review of an old issue of Fantastic once a month for the Galactic Journey website, so that's maybe five more. Then I do miscellaneous reviews of on-line fiction (or PDF files from print magazines) for the Tangent website. Each review might vary from one story for a weekly website to twenty stories for a bimonthly print magazine. Maybe ten stories per month would be an extremely approximate average. So, I suppose I read anywhere from twenty-five to fifty stories a month. Some months are higher, some are lower. One story per day isn't a bad ballpark figure; obviously some days I read none and some days I read a lot.
     
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  20. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Cool. I read your whole review now that it's out. Sounds like your second favorite was the Khaw? That was my second place story from the issue. It was a little too simple for me but was vigorous, with an interesting idea.

    For webzines, this year, I've read between 32 and 49 a month for an average of 41. Then I usually do a review or two a month for Tangent. Sometimes it's for a webzine I'd read anyway, but sometimes it's not and might add, say, 2-20 stories. And then I'll often knock down a collection or anthology of my own as well. So maybe 50+, on average?

    I understand not knowing when you'll get around to them, though - the TBR is like a hydra: for every one I read, seven more spring up. :)
     
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