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Short Story Writers?

Old 06-16-02, 12:22 AM
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Short Story Writers?

I am starting to read and write short stories. Who was the best author at the short story? Some suggestions please?
Old 06-16-02, 08:40 AM
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Harlan Ellison
Old 06-16-02, 05:05 PM
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[subjective]

<small>No such thing as "best".... </small>

But, seriously, I think it is difficult to make recommendations without knowing a little more background....

.... if I was embarking on a short story adventure, I'd probably first check the library and try a few mixed "Best of Year" type anthologies and perhaps also seek out collections from any recent prizewinning writers. There are also magzines. In the science-fiction field, for example, you could try "ASIMOVs SF" or the UK publication "INTERZONE".

Most likely, there is an abundance of short fiction on the web.

Here is a genre site with a few tiny tales: http://www.crimelibrary.com/fiction/

And here is another that gives details of what stories individual SF authors have online at any time (and more): http://www.freesfonline.de/Authors.html

Aside from Interzone, I hardly read short fiction these day. If presssed for recommendations I'd probably say Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon and Cordwainer Smith but these stem from memories of quite some time ago. (If his full-length works are anything to go by, Gene Wolfe would also be in my list of recommendations).
Old 06-16-02, 10:52 PM
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I think my favorite short story writer would be Poe. However, I greatly enjoyed "Heart of Darkness" and "The Secret Sharer." I'm about to read "Dubliners" so I'll see how Joyce can fit in there.

I'm working on a short story myself, but its nowhere near completion...between my individualized-film-festival, books, and writing this should be a nice summer between high school and college though!
Old 06-17-02, 12:03 AM
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It's all about Philip K. Dick. Some of the best short stories in the SF genre you're likely to come across.
Old 06-17-02, 01:53 PM
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John Cheever wasn't bad. My favorite was Flannery O'Conner.
Old 06-17-02, 02:19 PM
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Definately pick up some Best Short Stories of (Year) anthologies. Pick up some old issues of Story magazine (no longer published). There's plenty of other journal-mags that print lots of good stories: Glimmer Train, etc. Sometimes mainstream mags print all right stories: Rolling Stone, Playboy.

There are so many people writing short stories, naming names really isn't worthwhile. You didn't mention if you were hunting for genre-specific stories or "regular" fiction. Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories can be found in mags like "Asimov's science fiction magazine" and (natch) "The magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy", which are both mini-sized "pulp"-type journals.
Old 06-17-02, 05:47 PM
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Thanks everyone; i am searcing for reg. fiction. Like right now i am reading Hemingway's complete collection along with a collection by Tennesse Williams.
Old 06-17-02, 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by zooroaster
Thanks everyone; i am searcing for reg. fiction. Like right now i am reading Hemingway's complete collection along with a collection by Tennesse Williams.
if you wanna go old-school, try some of F Scott Fitzgerald's short fiction. There's a bunch of anthologies available. I suggest "The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald," which has a nice range of his work. Fitz was unapologetic about blatantly using short stories to finance his novels (often cannibalizing content), but even this guy's worst story is better than most people's best.

John Steinbeck, while not a short story writer, has a few quite slender novels that can be read in a day that are worthwhile and make a nice counterpoint to Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald=east and rich, Steinbeck=west and poor.
Old 06-21-02, 11:47 AM
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You should - if you're serious about it - forget about the old stuff and see what's being written and published right NOW!

seriously, all of the old stuff - which I'm a dear, dear fan of - won't help you get published right now. If you aren't doing what is being done, or at least something totally different you may have a hard time getting much attention paid to what you're doing.
Old 06-23-02, 03:39 PM
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Who was the best author at the short story? Some suggestions please?
Edgar Allan Poe
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Herman Melville
Anton Chekhov
Henry James
Ambrose Bierce
Sherwood Anderson
Hamlin Garland
Kate Chopin
Eudora Welty
Flannery O'Connor
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
William Faulkner
I.B. Singer
Saul Bellow
James Baldwin
John Updike
Joyce Carol Oates
Raymond Carver
Alice Walker
Old 06-24-02, 09:51 AM
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I think that a lot of diversity would help, especially if you're trying to come up with your own style.

Try and pick and choose from everything people have come up with here. Read some Hemingway. Then grab a Raymond Carver collection. Then take a look at one of Roald Dahl's books. (He's definitely one of my favorites.) Then maybe give David Sedaris' Barrel Fever a try. I think you get the picture.

Enjoy.
Old 06-25-02, 02:10 PM
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Personally, I only read the short stories of authors I enjoy. It seems if you do a search, almost all the "top" authors have short stories or short story compilations. Orson Scott Card, King, Dick, Hornby, you name it.

Also, if you enjoy an author, find out what they read.
Old 06-25-02, 03:22 PM
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I'll echo the name Raymond Carver and also add JD Salinger.
Old 06-28-02, 08:41 AM
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Short Story

I'll second Harlan Ellison. Then point you towards Stephen King from a long time-ago. Night Shift, if I remember correctly was ace. And then how about Joe R. Landsdale who's admittedly not to everyones taste.
Old 07-03-02, 03:42 AM
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Originally posted by ziggy
You should - if you're serious about it - forget about the old stuff and see what's being written and published right NOW!

seriously, all of the old stuff - which I'm a dear, dear fan of - won't help you get published right now. If you aren't doing what is being done, or at least something totally different you may have a hard time getting much attention paid to what you're doing.
Absolutely! And there are a lot of excellent short story writers out there right now...Dan Chaon Among the Missing (read this last summer and I *loved* it), Lorrie Moore Birds of America, David Schickler Kissing in Manhattan. I was on a short story kick last summer, but now I'm blanking. At any rate, these collections are seared in my brain. They were *that* good.
Old 07-08-02, 10:06 AM
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If you want an excellent insight on how to really write to a character and read a masterful wordsmith, check out Theodore Sturgeon.
Old 07-08-02, 06:26 PM
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Richard Matheson's short stories are pretty damn_decent.

If you are into horror at all.
Old 07-08-02, 06:29 PM
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote some amazing short stories, as did Paul Bowles.
Old 07-09-02, 06:27 AM
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I second Marquez but am damn surprised no one's mentioned T. Coraghessan Boyle (Road to Wellville, Tortilla Curtain). He's tops in my fiction just becayuse he infuses so much humor into his stories - please give him a try.
Old 07-11-02, 09:38 PM
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Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Cafe) and Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilyich)

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