The Future of Short Fiction

I know that I go on and on about things that Coode Street’s faithful readers should check out and maybe buy, but I don’t run advertising and I don’t accept any enducements to mention things in this space. Instead, I rabbit on and on about things I am genuinely enthusiastic about, and hope that it proves of interest to you, my readers.

The reason I mention this has, peripherally, to do with World Fantasy. As you know, I was in Madison for the annual WFC a couple weeks back. It had been my intention to sit down at the bar with Deb Layne, proprietor of Wheatland Press, but time and circumstance conspired against that happening. Instead, we had a couple of glancing conversations and promised to catch up in email.

The one thing Deb did get to do was give me a copy of her latest publishing endeavour, a new Bruce Holland Rogers collection, The Keyhole Opera. Rogers has won the World Fantasy Award for his short fiction, has written some very cool stories over the past few years, and is one of the best of the regular contributors to Shawna McCarthy’s Realms of Fantasy magazine. The Keyhole Opera collects a bunch of short-shorts, along with an introduction by Michael Bishop. I’ve only started dipping into the collection since I’ve got home, but I think you should check it out.

All of which segues into a missive from Bruce that I received this morning. For the past four years now, Rogers has been making his short fiction available in a pretty unique way. For just a tiny amount of money, you can subscribe and receive short-short stories by email. Stories go out three times a month, and range from literary fiction, science fiction, fairy tales, and mysteries, to work that is pretty much unclassifiable. You get thirty-six stories for five dollars, and the stories range in length from 200 to 2,500 words.

I don’t know if this is the future of short fiction distribution, or not. Right now, I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that. I do know, though, if you go to www.shortshortshort.com you can try before you buy, sample a bunch of short stories, and maybe even decide to order his new collection.

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