With 2010 fast approaching, it is time for the dreaded New Year’s resolution to rear its ugly head. Many people pledge to change their lives by exercising more or improving their finances. Unfortunately, by the time February rolls around the old habits have a nasty way of returning. Why not avoid this depressing cycle of broken promises and increase your chances of success? Resolve to read more short fiction in 2010!
Many people tend to shy away from short stories for one reason or another but really there is a lot to love. A well-crafted short story can capture a specific moment with an intensity not always found in longer novels. When connected by a common theme or place, short stories are great at revealing the complexity of the world and how we interact with it. And hey, they are short, so what do you have to lose by trying some?
The Best American Short Stories of 2009, edited by Alice Sebold, is a great place to start exploring short fiction. Since 1915, this annual series has been dedicated to picking the best stories of the year. If you are interested in other award winners, definitely check out the O. Henry Prize Stories, named in honor of the author, and The PushCart Prize which strives to highlight stories, poetry and essays from smaller presses.
Another great way to introduce yourself to short fiction is by checking out the many genre related anthologies we have. Do you usually read mystery or detective novels? If so take a look at The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, Seattle Noir or Killer Year. Is horror or science fiction more your cup of tea? Take time to peruse American Fantastic Tales, On a Raven’s Wing or The Starry Rift and you won’t be disappointed.
So, take the pledge and promise to read a short story or two in 2010. Create an addiction that is actually good for you!