Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.
Forgive me, readers, for I have failed. Frequently, even. I’ve read a lot of short stories since we started this adventure together, certainly—many more than I would have done were it not for the Spotlight—but only on rare occasion have I been able to consume a collection from end to end. I begin them with the best of intentions, but reading, say, a hundred pages of assorted short fiction seems to me a very different experience from reading the same amount of an ongoing story. Yes, the short form is often more immediately rewarding, yet going from one narrative to another to another in quick succession is an exhausting business, isn’t it?
In moments like those, I find it difficult to resist the siren song of the novel. And the novel demands that you come back—again and again and again until you reach the end. Normally, the anthology does not. Thus the collections I commence eventually go back on the bookshelves. I cannot count the number I’ve abandoned, albeit by accident, in this exact fashion.
[It wasn’t like that with Jagannath.]