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This year, I’ve read a lot more short fiction than usual. Aside from critique groups, magazines like Space And Time, or anthologies like Writers of the Future, I’ve read hundreds of stories online, which is where I came across Manna From Heaven, by Paul A. Freeman, my personal favorite of 2009.
It was published in Every Day Fiction.  As the name suggests, EDF posts a new piece of fiction (up to 1,000 words) on their website every day - they even email a free copy to their subscribers each morning.

Manna From Heaven is flash fiction, but even though it’s less than a thousand words, it packs a wallop. I thoroughly recommend it. 
How about you?
What’s the best short story you’ve read this year? 


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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Oh Jon, that was awesome! I was actually laughing at the end, because it was such a better-than-expected twist on the O. Henry twist ending. It was great! Very, very fun read.

I liked bunches of short stories this year; I'd have a hard time picking just one. Two that you might like for their weirdness and humor, both by Ray Vukcevic, are "Suddenly Speaking" and "Note from the Future," both also very short flash pieces.

I really liked "Lake Tahoe's Lover," by Nadia Bulkin, and I also liked Kij Johnson's "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss." (Those two are longer reads, though.)

But there are more--I enjoyed Erik Amundsen's "Just One Hand Held Up High" (which was in Not One of Us and is unfortunately not linkable-to), several of Richard Parks's Lord Yamada stories, a very cool story by Camille Alexa, which took place mainly on a journey between Earth and Mars, one by Saladin Ahmed ("Where Virtue Lies")--and on and on. The problem with listing them is I'm sure to leave off one I liked very much.

But I love the one that you linked to--it was great!
Dec. 28th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
It's one of those 'Damn, I wish I'd written that' stories :)

If they ever remake The Twilight Zone or Tales of the Unexpected, it would make a great episode, don't you think?
Dec. 28th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! It was super.
Dec. 28th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, great question. Most of my SS reading in 2009 did not consist of stories PUBLISHED in 2009, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

That story was probably Night of the Cooters by Howard Waldrop, an older piece, but worth a read. Fun stuff.

Dec. 28th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Is it online, or in a print magazine/anthology?
Dec. 28th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oops. Yeah, it was in an antho entitled War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches, from 1996, edited by Kevin J. Anderson.
Dec. 28th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
Ha! How do people think of these things? I wonder if the story forms backward: the idea is ___ but how do I get there? People who do plot well amaze me because it's my weakest point in writing.

As for stories I loved in 2009? Phew, it's hard to remember everything I've read. I've come up with five. Can I choose one of those five? Apparently not. Here goes:

"The Black One" by Michael Kelly and Carol Weekes from Triptych

"High Water" by Joel Lane from Apparitions (there will be more from this anthology, but I haven't finished it!)

"Agony and Ecstasy Jones" by Aurelio O'Brien from Grimm and Grimmer

"Five Ways to Ruin a First Date" by Marissa K. Lingen from Not One of Us

"Love in the Year of the Cicada," by Michael A. Pignatella from Sounds of the Night (also in that issue anything by Tyree Campbell -- I don't have the magazine in front of me but definitely like this author's style of writing)

Now, I think I'll go post this on my own LJ. Thanks for making me think back a bit. It's making me remember more than these five now as well.
Dec. 28th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
It's good to look back on the fun stuff :)
Dec. 28th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed "Five Ways to Ruin a First Date" too!
Dec. 28th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Lol, I think I was the inspiration for that one :)
Dec. 28th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Now see, you're jumping to conclusions about the story based on the title :-)

In this case it's told from the woman's point of view, speaking about how *she's* ruining the date--but the context is... well... quite exciting and fun.

It's a great story! You should get your hands on that issue of Not One of Us, if you can--it's got a lot of good stuff in it.
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Dec. 28th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)

Thanks for sharing :)
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Dec. 29th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
That reminds me, I started reading one of his books last year then forgot about it. I must find out where I put the thing :)
Dec. 28th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna go with Beneath Between" by Lawrence C. Connolly in the anthology the stories (in) between

I read a HUGE number of short stories (if I had to guess I would say 400 a year) adn this one has realy stuck with me.

Plus the anthology suports a local independant book store.
Dec. 29th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
I met Lawrence last year. he came to do a talk for us at the GSHW. A most entertaining fellow :)
Dec. 29th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah I met him a year or so ago, it was after Veins came out and I had soem questions I wanted to ask him about the peice. I think I was one of three people there that had read the book so I had to ask the questions in code.
Dec. 30th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
There's a scene in Veins where a character wants to set fire to a pool of gasoline with a bullet, but knows that simply shooting the gasoline won't ignite it, she needs to create a spark to do so.

I got the distinct impression Lawrence had come across this piece of information while researching for the book :)
Dec. 30th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
It's posable (mind you I thought everyone knew that until about 7 months ago when someone told me they thought you *could* light gas that way)

My question had to do with the car ending up the same way Axel found it. the other question was and I'll have to quote here "that thing that happend at the end - but not quite at the end - and he says 'I have to do something first' was that something the thing that happend in the begining? You know with the vistor the Grandmother got?"
Dec. 30th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Lol, and was it?
Dec. 30th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
yes to both - I was suprised that he followed my question.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

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