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Art of the Short Story
August 21, 2015
I have just published another short story on Amazon Kindle. This one is titled The Case of Marten Oman. It’s a tale of vigilante times, wherein a young man is put on trial for his life, having killed a scoundrel. This is part of a series of short stories I have been working on, taking a break from writing novels. These tales all take place in old San Francisco, in the 1850’s. The narrator is one Hyram L. Courtenay, warehouseman. He and his wife Lisbeth have lived in the city since 1847, when it was still called Yerba Buena. In their time here, they have both witnessed some strange and often weird events. Eventually I will republish these tales as a collection. In the meantime, I enjoy the current renaissance of the short story. Writing a good short story is in many ways more difficult, challenging and rewarding than is composing a novel. In a short story every word should count, where in a novel digressions and asides are permitted. I began my writing career with short stories, having published my first (recorded with a Remington manual typewriter) in the old Astounding Science Fiction magazine. Some of our greatest American writers began the same way. But then the demand for shorts gradually dried up, with the demise of weekly and monthly magazines, replaced by the growing World Wide Web. A writer’s life is not an easy one.
Then again, life is full of surprises. The very entity that killed the market for shorts brought it back again, in the form of the Internet. Today there are more short stories being written than ever before, being read on e book readers, smart phones, or computers. This is an amazing time for both writers and readers. I’m glad to be a part of it all. I hope you like my stories.