Short love

27 June 2008

Jeff VanderMeer is kind enough to include me on this list of his favorite underappreciated (ETA: see Jeff’s comment to learn that I misread him, so much for words being my business…) short storytellers. I am certainly always open to more appreciation (grin). Be sure to check out the other writers on the list — Jeff’s got great taste, although I would say that, wouldn’t I? (now it’s a wicked grin…)

I am always delighted to get this kind of notice, not just because it’s nice for me, but because it’s nice for short stories to get some love. They are like dragonflies, these little packets of words — such beauty, such fierceness, such swooping dizzying aerobatics, and then phht, gone down to dust often before anyone has noticed. So thanks, Jeff, for noticing. Because if a novel is a long beautiful day, a fabulous short story is the moment when the moon breaks through the clouds and lights a path to somewhere mysterious and slightly shadowed and piercingly beautiful. The short story is a cliff from which we may be persuaded to willingly leap, if the view out there is enticing enough…

I like to leap.

Comments

6 Responses to “Short love”

  1. Jeff VanderMeer on June 27th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Er, it’s my favorites. Some just happen to be under-appreciated, in the sense that I always feel my favorites should be better-known. :) You deserve it.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  2. Kelley on June 27th, 2008 2:44 pm

    Oops! I stand happily corrected! Sorry for misreading — I will go rewrite myself immediately…

    And thank you again for the nice words.

  3. karina on June 27th, 2008 5:10 pm

    The Spanish-speaking world adores its storytellers. Borges, Benedetti, Cortázar, Fuentes, García Márquez, Onetti, Poniatowska, are praised for their short stories more often than for their novels. Same with the Italians Tabucchi and Calvino, Brazilian Clarice Lispector, and so on. I’m constantly appalled by the English notion that often regards short fiction as stepping stones towards novel-publishing. It’s comforting to know that at least in the SF realm, authors and audiences alike cherish and respect this form.

  4. Kelley on June 30th, 2008 8:50 am

    Yes, Karina, the short form is more alive and well in SF than any other part of the word world, I think… And having read some of the short work that’s currently being published in other genres (mystery, for example) and in the highbrow literary magazines (don’t even get me started on the New Yorker), I think that some SF writers are doing the best, most risky and most expansive work in short stories right now.

  5. JB on July 3rd, 2008 11:50 pm

    I agree, actually I think I prefer short stories to novels.

    I’m just reading your collection right now – it’s awesome!

  6. Kelley on July 4th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Thanks JB, glad you’re enjoying it.