To paraphrase Marianne Moore, I too dislike them. To my mind, a good short story should have a lapidary quality, should be a “polished jewel,” almost a poem: exactly the right words in exactly the right order, with no excess and nothing left out. Therefore, the construction of a short story makes large and very specific demands on the talent and expertise of the writer.

But, also to my mind, the finished product is more or less on a par with stuffed, glazed brussels sprouts: they’re an amazing tour de force and take a hell of a lot of time and effort, they’re absolutely exquisite, and most people don’t care much for them.

This is mostly sour grapes, of course. I have written enough that I understand, to some extent, the requirements of the successful short story, and I will never be able to meet them.

I also have to say that I am in the category of those who don’t care much for them, although I do admire the prodigious craft involved. No matter how much work I put into it, I don’t think I’d ever be able to produce a telling, exquisite little slice of life that’s been buffed to glittering perfection, and I’m actually not particularly interested in trying to produce one.

Nonetheless, if one writes at all for any length of time, one almost inevitably has a couple of short stories knocking around somewhere, and I do. I’m making some of them available here, free fiction for you to read if you so desire. Bear in mind, however, that I don’t consider the short story my genre and I don’t consider these particularly wonderful examples of the genre.




Mrs. Collins

Dead Animals

Poppy and the Dog

Something Completely Different