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January 18th, 2016


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10:30 pm - Long Story Short (Fiction)
Last year I decided to make a specific effort to read award-eligible short fiction, and tell people about the short stories I like. The second half of the plan was executed without too much bother - I have diligently updated my list on Diigo, and periodically remind people that said list exists. But working through the first half of the plan was far more difficult than I expected.

I did read a lot of short fiction. So much. But even with all that reading I was able to keep up-to-date with just four online magazines - Daily Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Nature, and Lightspeed. I've read a smattering from other magazines and anthologies too, but I couldn't get around to magazines I specifically wanted to read, like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Apex, let alone start looking at new-to-me magazines, or anthologies, or author websites.

And the really sad part is, after all that reading...  I didn't actually enjoy most of them.  I was really hoping that at least one of the magazines would have a high enough ratio of Hit to Miss that I'd be able to say "This is the magazine for me! So long, Rest Of The Internet!". But no such luck. If I want to continue this experiment this year, I'll probably have to plough through just as many duds. Agh.

On the plus side, all that reading means I have definitely figured out what it is that makes me like a short story - tie the beginning and end paragraph together thematically, sneakily tell me the ending in the first 500 words, and have at least one character's life be slightly less crap at the end of the story than how they started out. Or have the entire story be based around a terrible joke, that works too. Heh.

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