The Short Story Thread

Titus Groan

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The Heart of Owl Abbas by Kathleen Jennings

An amazing feat of worldbuilding and ambience. Cannot reccomend it enough.
You can read it here:
The Heart of Owl Abbas

Another favourite of mine is Catskin by Kelly Link. Witches sweating coins? Lots of peculiar subjects verbing unlikely objects. Gorgeous stylistically. I constantly refer back to it when writing short stories of my own.
You can read it here:

Catskin - Lightspeed Magazine
 

dask

dark and stormy knight
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"The Watchful Poker Chip" by Ray Bradbury, form the March, 1954 issue ofBeyond, edited by H.L Gold. Had to make special mention of this one. There is no doubt this is pure Bradbury but not the kind that prompted Brian Aldiss to refer to Bradbury's view of the universe as "teddy bearish". Instead this is the kind of Bradbury that says "this is why you get published in The Saturday Evening Post and other slicks while your peers and equals remain mired in the pulps." Not recommending it as nothing is volatile as personal taste but worth seeking out nevertheless.
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

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I read that under the title "The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse." A very unusual story, and a strange one to find in the pages of his collection The October Country, which is mostly horror.

So unusual, in fact, that it was reprinted in the sixth issue of Harvey Kurtzman's humor magazine Help!. (And the same issue not only reprinted Saki's classic short-short story "The Open Window," but also Robert Sheckley's brilliant satire of reality television [long before the term existed] "The Prize of Peril"!)

Go here and click on Number Four (which is the sixth issue; a few are missing) and look inside the issue to find the story.

Help! Warren archive : Warren Publishing : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
 

dask

dark and stormy knight
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I read The October Country for Halloween last year and this story didn't seem to ring any bells except the title itself seemed familiar. I must be really losing it. What's gonna happen if I forget my password logging into the Chrons?
 

dask

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In "The Ivy Cottage Mystery" by Arthur Morrison the narrator, a newspaper journalist, says he was "living in chambers." Anyone know what that means? I snooped around the internet but couldn't find anything conclusive.
 

Graymalkin

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In "The Ivy Cottage Mystery" by Arthur Morrison the narrator, a newspaper journalist, says he was "living in chambers." Anyone know what that means? I snooped around the internet but couldn't find anything conclusive.
I know that chambers is or was a name given to rooms used by some legal professionals. But I think I may have read a story set in the thirties where a student at one of the Cambridge Colleges 'lived in chamers.' Sorry, couldn't be more vague than that.
 

AlexH

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I hope it was a voluntary vacation and nothing bad.
Whoops - I missed this. It was a voluntary trip to China, though I happened to be ill for most of it! I still enjoyed myself. I think I've finally got around to reading some of the recommendations from your blog - there will be a couple in my favourites list. I'm on your blog now, bookmarking some more stories.

I read Alfred Bester’s Fondly Fahrenheit last night - it’s strange, but I don’t think I’d read it before. It’s a cracker and worth seeking out. Not only a good idea, but told in a fascinating way.
This is one of my favourites. It's also one of Robert Silverberg's favourites - I read it in an anthology where he writes a critique of each story. Another great one from the anthology was Four in One by Damon Knight.
 

AlexH

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I haven't posted my favourites for a while, so here they are from the past few months:

The Jack of Souls Stephen Merlino Writers of the Future Volume 32
The Ghost In Angelica’s Room Maria Haskins flashfictiononline.com
Dinosaur Dreams in Infinite Measure Rachel K. Jones Writers of the Future Volume 32
Cry Havoc Julie Frost Writers of the Future Volume 32
A Glamour in the Black Sylvia Anna Hivén Writers of the Future Volume 32 (four favourites, this must have been a really good volume!)
The Minarets of An-Zabat Jeremy TeGrotenhuis Writers of the Future Volume 34
To This You Cling, With Jagged Fingernails Beth Cato firesidefiction.com
Cherry Wood Coffin Eugenia M. Triantafyllou apexmagazine.com
We Are New(s) Bentley A. Reese apexmagazine.com
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I read Alfred Bester’s Fondly Fahrenheit last night - it’s strange, but I don’t think I’d read it before. It’s a cracker and worth seeking out. Not only a good idea, but told in a fascinating way.

Agreed. It's amazing how he gets away with changing point of view constantly, even within a single sentence. Of course, the plot allows him to do that.
 

dask

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In his classic mystery tale "A Case Of Premeditation" R. Austin Freeman uses the word "dressing-bag." Is this an old term for suitcase? I've checked a couple of dictionaries and found nothing. Amazon sells dressing bags but these appear to be for dresses. This, however, is 1910 and the guy ain't no bi.
 

AlexH

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In his classic mystery tale "A Case Of Premeditation" R. Austin Freeman uses the word "dressing-bag." Is this an old term for suitcase? I've checked a couple of dictionaries and found nothing. Amazon sells dressing bags but these appear to be for dresses. This, however, is 1910 and the guy ain't no bi.
I'd imagine it's the same thing as a toilet or ditty bag: toilet bag Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
 
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