Thursday, 16 October 2014

Strange Constellations and Short Stories

So as some of you may know, Strange Constellations has launched and published its first two stories for September and October. Strange Constellations does short stories under "speculative fiction", which generally runs the spectrum between fantasy and science fiction. It's all Creative Commons, so you can read it for free and generally spread/edit/repost it so long as you don't do so for profit and you remember to source it correctly. 

I wrote a short story for September, called "The God in Her Veins". It fits pretty neatly into "Urban Fantasy", and tells the story of a girl with a semi-sentient parasite living inside her, making curious demands while blocking memories about why she's stuck with It or what life would be like without It. Her life changes when she discovers a clue that might indicate her problem isn't as private as she'd thought.

The October Issue, Deborah Walker's "Drink Deep and Long the Circean Poison" is a delightful piece of science fiction that I would definitely recommend. The narrator's prose evokes an Edwardian or late-Victorian air, fitting for the sort of playwright who would write plays that would "encompass the breadth of human history". As the story progresses you'll quickly notice that something is odd about our playwright and society as a whole.

The fun of short stories in my opinion is that they're "fun-sized" stories, and whether you love it or hate it you only have to put in perhaps a half-hour or so to finish it. If you didn't care for it, oh well! Half-hour gone. And if you love it, then either it'll leave you wanting more (whether or not more exists), or ideally you'll feel completely satisfied, as if the story could never be better with any amount of extra words. 

This doesn't mean I prefer them to novels; to the contrary, I quite love novels. But there is always something to be said for knowing that you're not going to read 300 pages to find out that it is, in fact, the first part of a series. But perhaps I'm just a little jaded about the rise of "trilogies" in Young Adult Urban Fantasy, many of which end up going on after the literal 3 for another few books and/or movies. 

Anyways, all of this basically to say "I wrote a short story for this growing anthology, you should read both short stories because they're good and what have you got to lose."