The Things They Carried: More than War Fiction


If you haven’t read at least the title story of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, something’s not right. This incredible book of stories resurrects cultural emotions I’ve never fully understood. It’s about Vietnam and soldiers, life, and all that. But [...]

Cathedral: Carver Cuts Up Birdman


Ever since Birdman, Raymond Carver has once again emerged as a “hip” short story writer. Those of us who have studied writing or English, though, will recognize many of his stories because he is just that prominent. Cathedral (the collection) is what I picked up a few weeks ago. While [...]

Easter Weekend: Southern Gothic Meets Lyricism


I read Easter Weekend by David Bottoms about a month ago–to be exact, a few days before Easter. I’d never heard of the novel or David Bottoms before; all Wikipedia told me was that A) He is primarily a poet, B) He is highly recognized by his poetry, and C) He is quite southern. [...]

Amazon Publishing: Fiction Flounders in the Slipstream?


It’s a bombastic clusterfuck out there when it comes to untraditional publishing. Let’s say indie author Edward Bookman wants to finally publish his first fiction novel, A Novel in Fiction. He can do several things, like… Self-publish it on Amazon Kindle Put it on Kindle Scout [...]

My Sunshine Away: Or, the Little Sinners in All of Us


I encountered My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh by recommendation. Bottom line: I was impressed. Set in Baton Rouge, this book is a reflection on our protagonist’s life and, more importantly, his involvement in the rape of Lindy Simpson, the all-American high school girl and neighbor. The [...]

The Power of the First Sentence


I came across an amazingly entertaining and informative article on Gawker Review of Books today about the best first sentences in fiction. This got me thinking, What makes first sentences so damn useful? The answers–or at least some of them–are obvious… First sentences reel us [...]

99 Cent Short Stories | Small Gains for Short Fiction?


This ArtsBeat article deserves attention. In short (the theme of the piece), a small publisher is releasing digital short stories in honor of May’s Short Story Month. The catch is that they are selling them for 99 cents each and a new piece is released every day. It’s an interesting [...]

TL;DR & Short, Short Fiction


Too long; didn’t read — a common enough expression on forums and, occasionally, social media. While I’ve always been familiar with the term TL;DR, never have I ever (nor will I ever, hopefully) see it written on the bottom of a short story by a reader in a workshop setting. [...]

Startup and Technology News


The Best of the visual Web, sifted, sorted and summarized