Short stories... I don't like short stories... Mainly it's because I read too fast: I barely have time to get into the story that it's over. It's a bit like going to a gastronomic restaurant when you haven't eaten for two days.
But sometimes, however short, a story grabs you and the world and characters it depicts remain with you for a long long time.
So, there. I don't like short stories and stories that are short, except when I like them.
Those are all short stories (and two novellas.. and two anthologies) I've read and liked in the past twelve months or so, and, as usual, they are by chronological order.
1. Harlan Ellison, "A Boy and his dog", 1969.
Dystopia. Apocalypse and Post Apocalypse.
This novella chilled me to the heart when I read it last year for the first time and I couldn't not talk about it. In a post apocalyptic urban world, Vic lives with his telepathic dog, Blood. Vic is mainly concerned about food and sex. He tracks a woman to rape her but it doesn't turn up the way he expected.
It is a violent story, and though it has plenty in terms of gore, to me its violence is mainly ethical and moral. But it's remarkably well written, up to the last sentences, that will leave you gasping in case you weren't shocked already.
4. Amal El-Mohtar, "And their lips rang with the sun", published on Strange Horizons, 2009.
An old woman tells a passing stranger of the Sun dancers of her city and begins the tale of one of them, Lam, who stopped the Sun from rising.
The story is very short, a few minutes read. But it is among the most poetic short stories I've ever read. The writing has the cadence of Khalil Gibran's poetry and the narrative reminds of ancient tales with love at the heart of it. At the risk of being far off the mark in my interpretation, I would say it's the anti-The Fall by Camus.
For more stories which are short, you can also check the Short Stories & Novellas category.
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