Hello. I'm Delia, and I like short stories.
Always have, really. I buy anthologies, I subscribe to webzines, I read them on blogs. I enjoy them. It's wonderful to sneak a little piece of fiction into my day.
I always have a book or three waiting for me. But there have been times when I've had the opportunity to read for a few minutes, but didn't because I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to it for a while. I suppose it's a facet of my reading personality. Once I start a book, particularly if I'm enjoying it, I don't like to put it down.
Short stories offer me a way around that. I'm still reading, still enjoying someone else's creativity/characters/world, but there's no long-term obligation, as it were. I don't have to worry about whether I can get back to it, because there's nothing to get back to. Also, there's something about a well-written shortie. Anyone who can weave an interesting and engaging plot and character arc in such a small space has my undying admiration. And envy, frankly. I'm big enough to admit it.
So this week, I'm reading Mishell Baker's blog. Mishell is an author I found while trolling for short stories. I read one of hers, Throwing Stones, and loved it, so naturally I began cyber-stalking her. What? Don't look at me like that, you do it, too. Yes you do! Anyway. Roughly two weeks ago, she had another story published. Great again.
Which is why this blog post of hers caught me off guard. In a nutshell, she said she disliked short form. She didn't like reading them because they didn't give her enough time to become vested in the characters. She didn't like writing them because, well, it's hard. She writes epic, fantastical sci-fi. This does not lend itself to short form. Truly.
Then, a few days ago, along comes Stephen King in an interview with the Atlantic Monthly and tells the whole world that, though he loves short fiction, he thinks the only people reading it anymore are new writers looking for possible markets for their own shorties.
Sad. It makes me sad.
So, I'm coming to you, dear people. Tell me what you think. Do you like short stories? Do you read them? Why or why not? Please tell me I'm not the only one.