A couple of short stories online caught my attention recently, and then a full anthology crossed my desk — each worth recommending (though admittedly with a little bias on the anthology, as you’ll find out).
First up is Scott Garson’s “About Me and My Cousin” in Matchbook — not a new story, since it was published in 2009, but new to me. Not only do I admire the movement of the story — literally a movement, since it progresses episode by episode via a series of links — but Garson’s comments on the story are mighty persuasive argument about the possibilities the Internet offers to short stories beyond just “a cheaper alternative to print.”
Next on my list is another story from SmokeLong Quarterly: “The New Doctor” by Abe Gaustad (and featuring some mighty fine artwork by the five-year-old son of a friend of mine).
Finally, the anthology: Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction: 88 Stories You Can Read in a Single Sitting. And the bias? “The Hamster,” a story by wife, Tara Laskowski, is featured in the collection. While it’s a great story (see for yourself in its original publication here), the others I’ve sampled from the anthology are equally interesting. Eric Cline’s “What’s the Difference Between Optometrists and Ophthalmologists?” was the first I read, not just because it’s the first in the book but also because I’d enjoyed his story “Two Dwarves and Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs” from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine last year. Jason Schossler’s “For Wile E. Coyote, Apetitius giganticus” — about (yes) that Wile E. Coyote — was not just clever but also remarkably touching. And Corey Mesler’s “Aftermath” proved how much story you can fit in a very little space (just nine lines). Still browsing through this one, but already worth recommending. — Art Taylor