Tournament of Short Stories SF/F Edition: Ted Chiang vs. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. VII

I’ve devoted this round of my tournament of short stories to science fiction and fantasy tales.  I’ve just enough anthologies to make it interesting, though I’m going to stretch the genre to include magical realism and people who included some SF/F in their books. It may be a challenge, but it should be fun. Science fiction and fantasy, even at their darkest, are fun. For … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories SF/F Edition: Ted Chiang vs. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. VII

Tournament of Short Stories II: Elizabeth Hardwick vs. Raymond Carver

I know it’s a cop-out, but I can’t really pick a best this time.  Raymond Carver and Elizabeth Hardwick are both masters of the short story.  Anyone who loves the short story should read them both, read as much of them as you can. For this round I read “A Season’s Romance” and “The Oak and the Axe” by Elizabeth Hardwick and “Where I’m Calling From” and “The Train” by Raymond Carver. … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories II: Elizabeth Hardwick vs. Raymond Carver

Tournament of Short Stories: Bret Harte vs. D.H. Lawrence and Leo Tolstoy

This little tournament has force me to read the volume of Bret Harte’s Gold Rush era short fiction C.J. and I bought a few years back while visiting Nevada City, California.  I’ve enjoyed them.  They are old-fashioned stories.  Mr. Harte does have fine characters but the plot is really where it’s at with his work.  I’ve enjoyed them all and I enjoyed the two I … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Bret Harte vs. D.H. Lawrence and Leo Tolstoy

Sunday Salon: Catching up with This Week’s Reading and Lionel Shriver Wears a Funny Hat.

This post is more of a ramble than a rant, so don’t worry. It’s been a busy week, getting ready for the 20th anniversary party C.J. and I threw yesterday, so there have not been many posts here lately.  I’m hoping to have a good amount of down time today, enough to relax and get a bunch of robo-posts ready for the week. Some I’m … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Catching up with This Week’s Reading and Lionel Shriver Wears a Funny Hat.

Tournament of Short Stories II–Murakami vs. Hardwick or “Goodbye, Haruki!”

I never thought it would come to this. It’s not like I don’t still love Haruki Murakami.  I do. Maybe not like I once did– maybe the honeymoon is finally over, though it lasted many years. Many, many terrific writers essentially write the same story over and over again.  Some put the same narrator into slightly different situations but basically repeat themselves each time they … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories II–Murakami vs. Hardwick or “Goodbye, Haruki!”

Tournament of Short Stories: Randall Jerrell’s Book of Stories vs. The O. Henry Awards 1995.

Sometimes, it’s just not fair. I picked up a copy of Prize Stories 1995 from The O. Henry Awards somewhere, I don’t recall, probably a library book sale, thinking it would be fun to add a random assortment of good stories to my tournament.  O. Henry Award winners, I thought, they’re probably all good.” So far they are.  I read two for this round: “The Women … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Randall Jerrell’s Book of Stories vs. The O. Henry Awards 1995.

The Santa Monica Review vs. The Pinch: A Tournament of Short Stories II Post

Last spring I attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference in Los Angeles where I was very impressed by the quantity and the quality of small literary journals in the exhibit hall.  There’s far more of them out there than you probably suspect. I had nearly no money to spend, no cash that is, and very few of the small presses … Continue reading The Santa Monica Review vs. The Pinch: A Tournament of Short Stories II Post