I haven’t written many posts lately about my summer reading as I’ve had a big run on reading adult fiction. I loved Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore, which is an adult detective novel but it’s not exactly a title I’d recommend to younger readers. I’ve also been reading a lot of collections of short stories, particularly those published by McSweeney’s and Falcon vs. Monkey.
Older teenagers (and adults) who are into adventurous fiction should definitely word themselves up on these two journals. (I think at this point I should admit some bias as one of my grown-up kids had a short story published in Torpedo, Falcon vs. Monkey’s latest journal. )
But bias aside, I’ve definitely noticed the short story is a form that is getting a new lease on life. I was given a lot of chunky short story collections for Christmas. At first , I thought my family was becoming intimidated by my voracious appetite for fiction and were losing confidence in giving me novels. Then I realised that the short story is underoing a renaissance, which is probably a very good thing. Short fiction is challenging and inspiring. Personally, I have always preferred to read (and write) novels. I have rarely lived with less than five people so my life has always been crowded and full of interesting sub-plots which definitely suits a novelist’s world view. So I find it quite difficult to write very short fiction but I’m becoming intrigued by writers who can pull it off. Maybe in our crazy, fast-paced world, the short story is the ultimate shape of the future. Maybe it’s time for all of us to learn how to be succinct.