Daily Archives: May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA ~ Novellas/Short Stories

The Complete Stories and Poems Stories of Ray Bradbury At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories

Now it is time to give a little love to those little stories in your life. Share your love for your favorite shorts of any form. What is a short story or novella that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves? Recommend to readers what shorts you would recommend they start with. How about listing some short story anthologies based upon genres or authors?

Generally, I think of myself as a novel reader. Sure, I occasionally pick up an anthology or read a passing short story on the web, but I’m not *really* a short story reader. Which is totally silly. My past, my present, and even my future reading habits are very much tied to short stories and novellas.

The Complete Sherlock HolmesPast

The first authors I remember reading voraciously are Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. I think these short works can be a great way to introduce younger readers to classics. They are the basis of many genre tropes and more accessible than classics that are based on cultural or political history. Short stories are a sneaky way to get absolutely anyone to read literature that’s well over a 100 years old.

Sleight of HandPresent

My favorite authors are short story writers. I’ll read anything by Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Peter S. Beagle, and Shirley Jackson. All of these writers? Damn good short story writers. Most American students have probably encountered Jackson’sThe Lottery and some Ray Bradbury, but these authors have a large catalog of work! Even some writers known for their door-stoppers get in on the act. One of my very favorite short story and novella writers is Stephen King. “The Body” is probably in my top ten of favorite pieces of literature ever written!

And if you’re of a reading challenge frame of mind, you might want to check out the Deal Me In short story challenge run by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. It’s been a great way to stay on track and read a story every week.

Returning My Sister's Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and MaliceFuture

Short stories anthologies are also a great place to try-out new authors.  I’ve found many “future” favorite authors in the pages of Best of- collections: Glen Hirshberg, Eugie Foster, Cat Rambo, Rachel Swirsky, Kij Johnson, Charles Yu. These authors have become go-tos on my TBR list.

Where Do I Find Short Fiction?

There are plenty of great places to find short fiction on-line.


Genre All Over the Place:

Even if you don’t want to commit to an entire anthology, there’s  a great selection of stories to sample!

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Armchair BEA ~ More Than Just Words


There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?

I’m not a big reader of graphic novels (though I’ll dive into the occasional comic) and I have a hard time listening to audiobooks without spacing out. So, I’m going to look at this topic from a slightly different angle and ask you all for some feedback.

Way back in 1996, I wrote an essay in a college class about ebooks. The class was Autobiographical Fiction, but the teacher was fascinated by technology. Part of the class syllabus was to create a “Home” web page. Let me reiterate: It was 1996. The popular web browser back in the day was Mosaic.

Without wireless technology, books in electronic form were something of a stretch. There were a few electronic texts available for BlackBerrys and the like, but handheld personal electronics with connectivity and decent storage capacity weren’t common. Still, after building a few of my own hypertext documents, electronic texts seemed to hold a tremendous amount of potential. My mind ran wild at the thought of things like hypertext Milton or Chaucer or Shakespeare. Instead of hunting down all those references in the footnotes, how about links to them? It didn’t even occur to me that there might come a day when it would be possible to have film clips at your fingertips. How about being able to compare the text of Romeo and Juliet against the Zeffirelli film, or the Baz Luhrmann adaptation, or even Shakespeare in Love?

Today, twenty-one-year-old me would be impressed, but maybe a little disappointed too. I have an 8 oz piece of electronics that holds an entire library. If I touch a word on the screen, I can see the dictionary definition. I can add notes and highlights and even share those with other readers. You have to admit, that’s pretty darn cool. But… Links within ebook texts are still more of an exception than a rule. On the internet, we have more flexibility to create hypertexts, but within actual ebooks, we’re just not there yet.

Or am I missing out on some really great multi-media books? Will the movement to more media-rich platforms (like tablets with actual operating systems) finally bring about my full-fledged books-with-DVD-type-extras dreams?

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