Saturday, May 7, 2011

Eat My Shorts

Short fiction is in my blood. My bones. When I dream, I dream in the short story format. Even when I'm busy as hell working on a novel, I'm constantly besieged by ideas for new short stories, and I can't get any peace until I write them.

Recently, when I was reading Laird Barron's Occultation,  I was struck by the absolute quality of the short fiction being produced in the horror genre. I think the field is the healthiest it's been for some time because of this. Relatively new writers like Laird Barron, Rob Shearman, Paul Tremblay, Paul Meloy, Gemma Files, David Nickle, Simon Strantzas, and others, are producing work that I both covet and admire. Ramsey Campbell has never wavered from his course, so he's still coming up with the goods. Likewise Nicholas Royle, Tim lebbon, Steve Volk, Steve Duffy, Mark Morris, Michael Marshall Smith and Conrad Williams. Even Stephen King has rediscovered his form regarding short fiction.

There's a literary quality to the work of these guys - along with a long list of other writers I could spend all day talking about - that elevates the genre above the common tropes and themes and cheap shock tactics a lot of people once associated with horror fiction. Indie presses like Chizine, Gray Friar Press, PS, and countless heroic others are championing short literary horror fiction.

I'm excited about the short form; I've fallen in love with short stories all over again.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Short stories really are the way forward. The most common thing I get from readers is that they are easier to do because they're shorter lol