Sunday, January 1, 2017

Short Fiction Month on Random Comments - Introduction

While I enjoy reading short fiction, collections and anthologies tend to linger on my to read stack. It is not so much the reading that is problem but rather the reviewing. Collections and anthologies tend to take me much more time to review, and even if I put in that time, I am not always happy with the result. I own a copy of The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by the VandeMeers. At over 1,200 pages, big doesn't do it justice. That monstrosity is a reviewer's nightmare. In the desk before me are currently five unread anthologies and two collections. The bookcase hides even more of that particular kind of shame. And that is just the dead tree stack. If I count the electronically available material it gets even worse.

So in order to read at least some of it, I have decided to try a different approach. Instead of reading a whole collection or anthology I will be sampling them and pick stories that for some reason appeal to me. I'm going to try and do one a day and see if I can keep that up for the entire month. I'm not sure what my schedule at work looks like yet so that might be optimistic. We'll see how far I get. This short fiction month is of course no excuse not to start the year with an Alastair Reynolds review. He'll be up first. Hopefully later today.


  1. I think this is a great initiative. If you could it would be useful to announce each time what the next story will be, or perhaps list a few in advance, so readers can prepare, or even participate. Thanks for your inspiration to further reading and reflection.

    1. It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing so I don't know which ones I will read myself yet. Tomorrow's story is Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang though. I read that one this afternoon in preparation. The one after that will probably be The Star by Arthur C. Clarke.