I've got one more short story anthology left in my current stack of short fiction, but I think I need a break. My first endeavor into short fiction has been great. I've discovered new authors, read with a fast rate of completion, and come across a wealth of new novels to look into.
Like novels, short stories run the gambit of good and bad and everything in between, but I've been craving something more as of late. More of what I don't know how to say. I hesitate to use the word substantial or deeper but they come close to what I'm craving. If a short story is well written but generally uninteresting to me, I can and will finish it by way of it being short. If a short story is bad I can skip it and go to another. If a novel is well written but uninteresting to me, in the past I've been inclined to finish it as it could be deemed 'harmless.' I doubt I'd extend that same curiosity today. If a whole novel is bad then I'll be angry that I have to take the time to sell it on ebay and get no redeeming value out of the book.
Here's the kicker: if a short story is good, then I generally want more than the amount that qualifies it as a short story. The ‘more’ of what I want is greater than the page count that classifies fiction as a short story. Perhaps I was wrong with I previously said in a blog post that the novel and the short story as essentially the same thing. I still do not think that the rules for good writing vary with page count but after having read a good amount of short fiction I do feel the novel--at least a good one--does offer something, ‘greater,’ but by no means 'superior.'
With that in mind, and my desire for the comforts of a lengthy (if it's good) read, I place my faith in Duane Swierczynski’s Severance Package. A short novel that I hope is as fun, and exciting as all the reviews I read about last year.
Weary of short stories or not, my reading of it late has only lead me to do one thing: buy more of it.